Pune has been the biggest achiever in the progress under the smart cities mission, says the AmCham and PwC report titled ‘Snapshot of projects under Lighthouse Smart Cities’. In an interview with Manish Arora of BW SmartCities, Kunal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation tells us about the progress of Smart City Mission and his vision for the next two years.
Kunal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation
How has been the progress of Smart City Mission in Pune?
Being one of the fastest growing and most progressive cities of India, the expectations from Pune were really high when it was included in the Smart City list. Pune has progressed rapidly under the Smart Cities Mission. Over the last two years, several firsts under the Smart City Mission were defined, some of the projects worth mentioning include:-
State of Art Command and Control Centre.
Integrated Transport Management System.
Sustainable Livelihood “Lighthouses of Pune” empowering under privileged youth.
Can you share some innovative ideas Pune has implemented under Smart Cities Mission.
Several firsts have been achieved by Pune over the last 2 years during the conceptualization and the implementation of the Smart City Mission. Some of them include:
Conducting a mammoth citizen engagement exercise covering more than 50% of the people over a period of 45 days.
Creating an enabling digital economy through shared optical fibre network.
Supporting the start-ups in the City.
Place making sites.
What do Pune Smart City plan to do in next two years of its Smart Cities mission?
We have set a very high benchmark for ourselves and aim to deliver over Rs. 2000 Crores of project over the next 2 years. Some of the projects which we believe would be game changers include:-
Adaptive Traffic Management System (ATMS)
Street and Roads
In addition to this there are many more projects including additional place making sites, smart parking, smart grid, solar power to ensure sustainability etc. are being planned.
You are selected as the Smart Cities person of the Year, How do you feel?
I have been closely involved with Smart City Mission since the beginning and believe that this is one of the most progressive missions to transform the urban landscape in the Country. Extensive citizen engagement, cities being awarded grants based on the strength of the proposal to deliver the project were some of the innovations which were made in the Mission. It has been more than 2 years after the announcement of the Mission, and the work done in all Indian Cities during this period, has surely set the foundation for an urban rejuvenation, on a scale, never seen before.
With all this background, I feel honored and humbled to be chosen as the Smart City person of the Year and this coming from Businessworld which is one of the most respected journalist groups in the world makes it even more special. Pune is a special city. I have been very lucky to get this opportunity to spearhead the mission in Pune, and set some good examples for the country. It also makes me feel more responsible to ensure that Pune continues to lead as an example for other cities in India to follow as it has been over the last 2 years.