With the selection of Faridabad for development as a Smart City, there is a positive sentiment all around the city as people expect better urbane facilities from the government and consider themselves a part of better governance. In a follow up to this development, the city municipality has firmed up an action plan on what needs to be done. About Rs 1468 crores would be spent in the next five years with Rs 500 crores each being contributed by the Central and the State Government and the rest being funded by local municipalities from their profits. The city administration has been inviting proposals from its residents through different channels in order to know their needs. This is in keeping with the spirit of citizen participation in this project.
Suggestions were invited from Faridabad residents through online and social media channels. Even schools were roped in to ask parents to send their suggestions on a paper having some questions.
So, what are the key point which the government is considering at this stage?
- Retrofitting Model to be implemented in select Sectors (21A, 21 B, 21C, 28, 29, 30, 19 and 16). This will involve reworking on electric and telephone lines, cemented roads and many other measures which can improve already existing infrastructure to make it more durable, sustainable, safe and environment friendly.
- Better IT connectivity throughout the city. This is another high point of the Smart Solutions which will also help in attracting IT companies in this city, improving employment opportunities for the talented youth of the city who now have to travel to Gurgaon, Delhi or Noida for work.
- Energy efficiency to be achieved with at least 10 percent contribution from Solar Energy. Initiatives were taken as early as June 2009 when Faridabad and Gurgaon were approved to be developed as Solar Cities. About Rs 50 crores were sanctioned by MNRE/GOI for this purpose for Faridabad. Municipal Corporation of Faridabad had hired TERI for developing a Master Plan for 5 Years for this purpose.
- Setting up of a University. This is a long standing demand which, if fulfilled, will go a long way in making it an all-inclusive educational city. Right now, degree courses are done essentially from colleges under MDU, Rohtak. With industrial background and already existent schools and vocational training centres, this will help in meeting both the education and employment requirements of students.
- Improvement of solid waste management
- Smart Public toilets. This is in keeping with the spirit of nationwide Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.
- Toll-free integrated helpline to help citizens in more than one way. It is expected to develop this service on lines of 911 emergency services of United States of America.
- Provisioning of no-vehicle zones for better traffic management
- Provision of separate pathways for pedestrians which are safe and can accommodate good numbers
- Encouragement to non-motorized movement of people with a series of measures
- Slum rehabilitation to ensure better livelihood
This list is not exhaustive and we invite the readers to add more to this list.
With focus turning back on Faridabad and better urban life awaiting its residents, a fresh boom for property is expected. With predominantly resident population, better environmental pollution levels than neighbouring Delhi, lowest priced property in NCR region, connectivity with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor and now inclusion in Smart Cities project, Faridabad will become a cherished destination for peaceful living in clean and green surroundings.