At a time when everyone is saying the Government is clueless how to create a smart city, how will a small place like Raipur make a difference in this concept?
Raipur has its concept cleared since last year that the authorities want it to be a technology friendly and a hightech city as it is usually connected to the smart city world. At the same time, we want to build whatever history so that we can have deep cultural roots to inculcate a sense of ownership. Hence our entire smart city campaigns, events, slogans and efforts are based on the same. Also, we have started renovating our oldest library building so we can depict it as a cultural hub with a mix of culture and history. In terms of technology and our clientele, we are not segregating anyone but focusing on inputs from all clusters of people.
Raipur is enthusiastic about environment and pollution. Number of actions in cleaning the city have been undertaken by us. An Oxy-zone is being assembled right in the centre of the city. It is the first place in India where 19 acres of land has been cleared of diseases. So that is the thought we have in Raipur.
Usually just water is used to wash the public urinals which is exactly not clean because it’s a high traffic area involving communal health. How much is the hygiene factor being emphasized?
Wherever we are constructing public urinals, we are making sure that the people around are taking ownership. We handover the keys after keeping a small 15 minutes programme of educating how people have been keeping the urinals clean and what kind of product will they use.
This wouldn’t be a 100% successful but a start will be made. A ‘structure’ can be constructed easily but maintaining it is an issue. It is an ongoing process for which the thought process has been started.
Any mandatory clauses which have been introduced where the society must segregate by waste?
We launched a city award in which we evaluated all our schools, hospitals, colonies and market places. The major element in this was the kind of segregation made and we kept it mandatory for all to do it in their own premises.
What actions are being taken by the Government hospitals?
As far as hospitals are concerned, we are very strict about medical waste. There is a need to have tie ups with some registered vendors and we monitor that the medical waste goes only to these vendors and not to the municipality. Even when there is a slightest error or complaint, we shut down the hospitals and we have done it in the past. This being a continuous practice, hospitals are more aware that this can happen, so they take care of their own waste.
What about the daily garbage that is generated?
We are continuously doing awareness campaign and have seen a lot of understanding in the last one year. We have signed our integrated solid waste management tender agreement with a company which is taking a huge step forward towards scientific management of the waste. Overall, a lot of guidelines are shared amongst people.
One of the campaigns we have started is ‘Toilet is my Right campaign. ’Toilet is my Right’ is a campaign which involves a common citizen in which if he feels the toilet where he visits, is not good enough, can directly write to the Municipal corporation on a social media platform. It’s like a Pandora’s box. If we get such complaints, we take corrective actions and it has developed a sense of ownership towards the toilet. Earlier we used to have a lot of urination in public places but now the people know there is a toilet nearby, so they go and use it.
Toilet is becoming more of a commodity and people are getting more aware of it.
Apart from that what are the activities you have done for the redevelopment?
The city is getting extended. Especially the outer area and urban planning that is an ongoing phenomenon stakeholder type of approach. We do other activities like awareness programs in colleges. We keep on involving schools and colleges in our effort and see the people connect with government.