Monday, 16 October 2017

#CelebratingSuper: Smart Delhi Initiative...


Delhi is the capital city of our country. It has been the harbinger of opportunities for people from all over the nation across multiple walks of life. Of late, it has been bearing the brunt of harboring a tattered canvas as far as the scenario for the provision of basic civic amenities is concerned.

Time and again, our environment has been bearing the brunt of how we perceive the quality of life, which by and large, has also been witnessing a downward curve. Amidst all this, we must act in wake of leaving behind a positive legacy for future generations to treasure, in terms of working towards the betterment of quality of life.

With technological advancements and a realization of 'giving back to nature and society' on the rise, we seem to have sidelined the fact that scarcity of resources is a harsh reality that stares us in the face. While we witness diminishing green cover all across the 'stone garden' city that Delhi has become, the newest fad to catch our fancy in recent times is the catchphrase 'Smart City'.

At this point in time, it is of utmost importance to realize that flaunting the title of being a 'Better City' is of higher importance than that of a 'Smart City'. However, there is a certain camaraderie that persists between the two as initiatives to becoming the former contribute to turning into the latter in the long run as well.

The Ministry of Urban Development has stolen the limelight in this scenario with its undoubtedly ambitious and visionary 'Smart Cities Mission 2020' of which the capital city is an indispensable part. Betterment of quality of life is a crucial aim herein which begins with urban reforms of the likes of sanitation, good governance, and sustainable living.

Digitization seems to have become the ultimate keyword in wake of PM Modi's visionary dynamism. In keeping with the same, 'NDMC 311: Mobile App' aims to digitize household services such as bill and tax payments, consumer redressal, and even birth and death certificates and is now operational, with the inclusion of additional features by December 2017 on NDMC's radar.

While a 3D painting speed breaker had been first introduced on Rajaji Marg by NDMC late last year on the persuasion of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who had tweeted on trying out 3D paintings used as virtual speed breakers to avoid unnecessary requirements of speed breakers, a new sensor-based street lighting system to be completed by January 2018 is on the cards wherein light would be dimmed across non-peak traffic hours to provide for energy consumption. NDMC has claimed that Mother Teresa Crescent and Minto Road would be one of the first areas to feature such smart poles.

Beautification of Delhi's open spaces is also on NDMC's agenda by the means of vertical gardens and large-scale landscaping. Given the fact that The Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) under The Ministry of Urban Development itself has been devising an 'Art Master Plan' for Delhi since quite some time now. As a matter of fact, Lodi Colony, Shahpur Jat, and Connaught Place are some of the upmarket areas that have been flaunting aesthetic creations by artists in the form of wall art and graffiti since quite some time now.

Smart classrooms have gradually become the talk of the town too here in Delhi, with a number of private schools (largely) opting for the same, thus providing a push to e-learning, which is again in line with digitization to a certain extent.

The Safe Cities Index (a report that analyses urban safety on four main parameters: digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security) has ranked Delhi 43rd amid a total of 60 cities, in its recently released 2017 report. It is a bummer that India has a long way to scale as far as citizen security is concerned, and grassroots efforts are required as far as the safety of women, children, senior citizens, and differently-abled is concerned.

As far as I can recall, a notable initiative that comes to mind is the Pink Auto Brigade, now prevalent in Noida and Gurugram.

As an area of concern, basic civic amenities also have been witnessing a positive trend with the establishment of Swachh Public Toilet Units (PTUs), a number of which sport a solar rooftop panel and sanitary pad vending machines, in addition to being accessible via Google Maps, which is by and large, an attempt to curb the menace of open defecation. Accessibility on the digital front, in general, is complemented by Vodafone's provision of a number of Free Wi-Fi Zones across the periphery of the city.

In the wake of Supreme Court's applause-worthy ruling of a blanket ban on the sale and use of crackers in Delhi, celebrating a Green Diwali is on the cards. Personally, I had shunned the practice close to a decade back, and we have since then been indulging in appreciating the twinkling of earthen lamps and fairy lights.

Contributing to the same, Vodafone Delhi has provided Super Crackers at 52 Vodafone stores in the week before the festivities commence, starting today (16 Oct -19 Oct). These Super Crackers are filled with eco-friendly plant seeds. All one needs to do is plant it and let the plant bloom. This is how the realization of 'paying back' the environment can be fruitfully witnessed.

On the whole, #CelebratingSuper is of utmost importance, be it an individual effort or a collective one. Though the road to becoming a 'Smart City' is still a long one for times to come, Delhi is certainly becoming a 'Better City' by the minute. :)


This post has been written for #CelebratingSuper in association with Vodafone and IndiBlogger. 

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