Govt taking initiatives to make Kohima a ‘Smart City’

Govt taking initiatives to make Kohima a ‘Smart City’

KOHIMA: Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation expressed his opinion that Kohima as a Smart City would definitely build the status of Nagaland.

Talking to news reporters, he explained about the Centre's ambitious Smart City project and said it was an innovative initiative to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of the people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a mean to create smart outcomes for citizens

Kohima when completed as Smart City would not only enhance Nagaland but would be as popular destination in the whole world as all other Smart Cities in the country, explain the Union Minister.

When asked what it meant to the state to accommodate Kohima as a Smart City, he said that it would mean an instant rolling of cash everywhere in all levels on each sectors due to virtual swarming of people here from all over the world. "They will commercially interact with the masses in Nagaland buying their products, paying them in cash. Tourism will boost up like never before. Manufacturing will tremendously escalate in the state. Social interactions among the people will be massive leading to commercial transactions in all levels. Sense of belonging among the countrymen/people from abroad toward Nagaland, Kohima will become deep rooted," says the Union Minister

He further maintained that people of Nagaland would be on par with the rest of the countrymen more intensely. "Even now, it is there but then, more non-Nagaland people will visit here and hence, they will 'embrace' Nagaland, Kohima more dearly," the minister said. In response to a query on when would Kohima Smart City become reality, he said with the selection of almost all the cities under the Smart Cities Mission, all the selected cities would have to prepare city level smart city plans, which would be evaluated in the second stage of competition based on a broad set of criteria to pick up the top scoring 20 cities for financing during this financial year.

He disclosed that funds may be released to those 20 cities by the end of this year, adding that others would be asked to improve upon the identified deficiencies before participating in the next two rounds of competition.

According to Minister for Urban Development, the cities that would be selected during the second stage of competition would be provided with financial assistance from the Centre. "The funds will amount to Rs.200 crore in the first year followed by Rs.100 crore each year during the next three year, Smarty city is not about flash and fancy," he explained.

Further, Naidu asserted that a smart city would ensure core infrastructure needed for decent living in urban areas. "We are not aiming at making our urban landscape look fanciful and flashy. The prime objective is to enhance the quality of urban life by addressing deficiencies in core infrastructure," he pointed out. Stating that expectations in various quarters may be high but the Mission was very practical and realistic in its intentions and objectives, Naidu said making smart cities would be a challenging task and states and urban local bodies have to rise to the challenge.

He said the Central Government has undertaken due measures to empower them to meet the challenge through substantially enhanced central assistance and decentralizing decision making besides assisting in capacity building of urban local bodies. "

Pointing out that Smart city applications were developed with the goal of improving the management of urban flows and allowing for real time responses to challenges, the minister said a smart city may therefore be more prepared to respond to challenges than one with a simple transactional relationship with its citizens.

(Agencies)

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