Bhagalpur: Improvising Smart City with Inclusive Citizen-Centricity
Bhagalpur is a centre of health services for various adjoining smaller cities and villages. The attendant of patients does not get facilities to stay at an affordable price. With our commitment to do the customer-centric project we are developing a 100 bedded night center for the attendant of the patient. Says Sunil Kumar, CEO, Bhagalpur Smart City Limited in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of BW SmartCities. Excerpts below:
How has been the progress of Smart City projects in Bhagalpur so far? How has Patna transformed for better with the Smart City project makeover?
Bhagalpur has been selected in the first round, but progress has not happened as per expectation, due to various reasons. I have taken over in January this year, and am among the very few who have been hired from corporate in Smart City. I am proud to share that in the last six months, effectively in three months as almost three months have got affected due to the COVID pandemic, we have finalized, awarded, and started work in three major Projects- Development of Open Space- Sandys compound, Control & Command Center Building, and Renewal Solar Power installation in all Govt. Building to reduce Carbon footprint. Three important projects - Smart Road, Town Hall Development and 100 bedded Hospital Annex are at various stages of tendering and will be finalized within a month.
How inclusive in the Smart city project in Bhagalpur, in terms of assuring healthcare to citizens?
Healthcare is one of the important components of Smart City. Bhagalpur is a center of health services for various adjoining smaller cities and villages. The attendant of patients does not get facilities to stay at an affordable price. With our commitment to do the customer-centric project we are developing a 100 bedded night center for the attendant of the patient. We are in the process of developing the Smart Clinic and Mobile Health clinic to ensure to make preventive healthcare to citizens at their doorstep.
What are the major projects that are soon to come up in the city under its smart city projects?
The major Projects that are coming up soon are-
Development of Sandys compound--it will have a world-class swimming pool, Gym, Club, badminton court, Cricket stadium, Jogging track, Club, children park and will serve all category of citizens. It is in the heart of the city and pride of Bhagalpur.
We are developing a world-class auditorium, a town hall having sitting capacity of 1000 people. It will have a complete display of the heritage of Bhagalpur and will have audio video film to display the same.
c. Other big projects in the pipeline are the development of Riverfront at Budanath Ghat, Control and command center and Smart Road.
How has the Integrated Command and Control Center in Bhagalpur been leveraged to benefit the citizens of the region?
This is very important project of any smart city as it really provides benefits to the citizen by integrating technology with governance. Bihar Government has decided to do it jointly for all the smart cities of Bihar for better implementation and ensure uniformity.
To what extent has the Smart City Authority in Bhagalpur used the smart city components to deal with the current situation of a pandemic? How?
We have taken various initiatives some of them are ---
a. Creating awareness through various means- Announcement, billboard, helpline, etc.
b. Development of Night stay center and Food distribution.
c. Preparation and distribution of Sanitizer, Gloves.
d. Developed Bhagalpur App where all the important information, bulletins, contact numbers are available. Citizens have got encouraged to share their experiences and audio-video of activities of their interest to us which we upload on the app.
e. Taken initiative to reach the citizen through story series and, launched LOCKDOWN KE PANNE, which has helped in creating awareness, developing better bonding among family members and keeping their morale high during this pandemic period.
What measures are taken by the Smart city authorities to ensure a 24/7 water supply in the city?
Bihar government has already done a lot in this scheme under their flagship program SAT NISCHAY, and almost all the household has got covered. As a Smart City we have taken initiative to install Water ATM at important locations to ensure that in summer people should get safe drinking water at public places.
How do you observe the smart cities to come up post the pandemic days?
As we all know, India is youngest county of the world and there is a big shift in demography where youths are shifting to cities with a dream in their eyes.
In my view Smart city project is one of the most important initiatives of the government with a commitment to provide a better life to the citizen of the city. All the smart city have the freedom to identify and execute city-specific, citizen-centric projects with the involvement of citizen forums and local elected leaders. Smart City is committed to using technology and integrating it for improving safety, security, health, and better service to the citizen. Smart cities are equipped to handle and manage critical challenges like COVID and any other disaster issues.