This text is sponsored by the Authorities of Chhattisgarh.

It is straightforward to make assumptions when all about a spot is from scattered and sensationalised information stories, or maybe whispers. However even a cursory examine on the bottom reveals the hollowness of such straightforward claims.

So once we say “fashionable cities of India” the place does your thoughts go? Mumbai? Hyderabad? Maybe Ahmedabad?

However do you know that three cities of Chhattisgarh come below the Indian authorities’s ongoing ‘Sensible Cities Mission’? And that these cities have showcased exceptional progress in revolutionary planning initiatives and citizen-centric governance?

The cities are Raipur, Atal Nagar (previously generally known as Naya Raipur) and Bilaspur. Every of those three cities have been meticulously working in direction of incomes their ‘Sensible Metropolis’ tag. By means of clever conceptualisations, every has carved a definite identification for itself, with practices accredited as the most effective India has seen lately.

Let’s take a look at them.

1. Raipur

The capital metropolis of Chhattisgarh, how historical Raipur determined to remodel itself into a sensible metropolis is a lesson that cities throughout the nation ought to study from – a narrative of holistic improvement powered by the individuals.

Let’s start with the tagline, Mor Raipur, which suggests ‘My Raipur’ in Chhattisgarhi. Involving individuals within the course of has been the inspiration on which municipal authorities selected to maneuver ahead – to instil a way of possession and belongingness to at least one’s metropolis.

“Sensible Raipur means various things to completely different individuals – however primarily it displays an aspiration of town and its individuals to grow to be higher, to return within the league of the most effective. This notion of smartness comes from the residents’ passionate want that town needs to be second to none. Every of the same old good metropolis initiatives in Raipur was redesigned to be powered by the individuals they have an effect on.

“This meant involvement of individuals in all of the 3Ps – Planning – Performing – Preserving. Planning is when you concentrate on how you can do it – Performing is when the venture begins affecting the bottom and the outcomes begin flowing in. The preservation bit ensures that the efforts of what we lasts longer than us,” says Rajat Bansal, CEO, Raipur Sensible Metropolis Ltd (RSCL), chatting with The Higher India.

And to attain this behemoth endeavor, town has conceptualised and kickstarted quite a few initiatives throughout completely different classes of operations that goal to create a holistic affect on the individuals.

Mor Raipur.

A first-rate instance of such well-thought planning has been the redevelopment of the outdated Jawahar Bazaar, whose structurally weak partitions posed a hazard to the life and property of a whole lot of shopkeepers and hundreds of day by day guests.

All stakeholders have been known as in and offered with completely different plans labored out by the authorities together with their execs and cons. Apparently, all of the 170 shopkeepers within the space had no objection to the venture and willingly settled, as they got the liberty of allocating their very own retailers throughout the authorized framework.

The consequence is without doubt one of the greatest market redevelopment initiatives undertaken by any of the good cities within the nation at this time!

One other exceptional people-powered initiative is the revolutionary 5AM Military marketing campaign, which introduced collectively residents of Raipur to wipe out the unsanitary apply of open defecation. It actually contains a military of civilians who begin work at 5 am each morning. Such had been the group’s effectiveness that the tip of 2017 noticed Raipur being formally declared ODF.

Revolutionary initiatives like Suppose Raipur and Tevery for Raipur actively engages individuals eager on utilising their free time and sources by volunteering for his or her metropolis. The primary venture aimed to empower each Raipurian by producing good concepts for his or her metropolis’s improvement whereas tapping into their entrepreneurial and revolutionary potentials.

The concepts weren’t simply recognised but additionally rewarded, with prizes price ₹15 lakh and funding obtainable as much as ₹10 crore for probably the most viable and sustainable concepts.

The second venture invited anybody with primary academic necessities to volunteer as academics at authorities colleges, with the objective of filling the absence/lack of academics that exists in lots of public colleges throughout town.

For compassion, the Neki Ki Deewar marketing campaign was unfurled not too long ago as a gifting marketing campaign.

Neki ki Diwar.

It paved the best way for nameless gifting and the dignified receiving of charity. Totally different areas throughout town have been recognized for this function, which often sees individuals dropping off articles and issues that might then be picked up by underprivileged individuals to be used.

One other distinctive instance of the lively participation of the general public, as Bansal factors out, had been the Selfie-with-Plant marketing campaign.

“For the primary time, individuals got a platform to plant a tree in the suitable season and geo-tag it on the Mor Raipur App. The consequence was fascinating, to say the least, whereby inside a month greater than 8000 vegetation have been geo-tagged! This pool of crowd-sourced info not simply permits us to watch funds higher but additionally helps use know-how to protect nature,” he provides.

2. Atal Nagar

As one glides on the impeccable street from Raipur to Atal Nagar, previously generally known as Naya Raipur, the truth that a distance of 20 km exists between the each is barely noticeable.

What had as soon as been an enormous stretch of barren land with just a few villages, at this time stands India’s first built-in green-field good metropolis, whose distinctive planning and visionary initiatives are being touted as top-of-the-line within the nation.

Envisioned to grow to be a whole and vibrant metropolis, which incorporates being the capital of Chattisgarh whereas resting on a basis of transit-oriented improvement and environmental sustainability, Atal Nagar is as good and inexperienced as it could get.

From main eco-development initiatives that mandates each constructing within the metropolis to be geared up with rainwater harvesting, photo voltaic vitality and Web connectivity to an revolutionary utility hall that will allow providers comparable to water provide, sewerage, telecom and electrical energy—all effectively ensuing underground, the extra in regards to the metropolis’s fantastically deliberate initiatives, the extra impressed you’d be.

About 27 per cent of its land has been earmarked for afforestation and greening initiatives, with the imaginative and prescient of constructing town increase within the lap of nature.

Additionally, Atal Nagar bears the uncommon distinction of being a ‘zero discharge’ metropolis with decentralised sewage remedy and has superior water administration initiatives, that embrace wastewater recycling, good meters, rainwater harvesting, and inexperienced infrastructure to maintain stormwater overflow at bay.

Moreover, Atal Nagar has all its streets illuminated with community managed energy-efficient LED lights together with biking tracks which have been laid throughout town to encourage non-motorised commute system. And for individuals who love strolling, Ekatm Path, a 2.2 km lengthy boulevard has been dedicatedly laid down.

One other unbelievable side of Atal Nagar is its Jungle Safari, a man-made forest safari proper within the cityscape precincts, which can also be Asia’s largest ever!

Asia’s largest man-made Jungle Safari in Atal Nagar.

The residential areas have been envisioned as vitality and waste environment friendly, the place your home won’t simply have around the clock potable water provide and rainwater harvesting facility, but additionally get wastewater recycled. This recycled water is then utilised for watering the vegetation and bushes throughout town: killing two birds with one stone!

The very best half, nevertheless, consists of the digital utility providers that the residents of Atal Nagar shall be experiencing sooner or later. From paying one’s tax, payments, commute passes and municipal providers to a traceable grievance redressal system that ensures transparency by on-line accountability of all public workplaces, one can avail all these providers by linking their registered cell numbers to this method.

“Inclusiveness, making town inexperienced, transit and job-oriented improvement in addition to making town accessible for all sections of society are areas we are attempting to give attention to after having extensively labored on infrastructure, bringing good components in and getting good know-how that will monitor how town features. That is the subsequent stage that we are attempting to maneuver in direction of,” says Rajat Kumar, CEO, Atal Nagar Vikas Pradhikaran (ANVP).

Remaining attuned to the Sensible Metropolis mannequin, the ANVP has targeted on involving residents since its conception.

An vitality environment friendly metropolis.

It has been reaching this by conducting varied on-line surveys that invite revolutionary concepts, calls for and options from the individuals in direction of the fast-rising metropolis’s planning and improvement.

Town additionally incorporates a centralised, digitally propelled Built-in Command and Management Centre (ICCC), which was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on June 14.

A primary of its variety venture within the nation, this method makes optimum utilisation of collective intelligence for metropolis administration by bringing collectively bodily, institutional, social and financial infrastructure below a single umbrella, conserving the high quality of life for the residents of Atal Nagar on the forefront.

3. Bilaspur

Bilaspur, also referred to as the Dhan ka Katora of Chhattisgarh, is now intensively working in direction of its  ‘Sensible Metropolis’ dream. The holistic trajectory taken by Bilaspur has been in direction of improvement – from upgrading public providers like healthcare, housing and infrastructure, to implementing environment-friendly public transport options and adopting measures to inexperienced town.

Additionally a part of the Centre’s Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and City Transformation (AMRUT) Mission, Bilaspur is amongst the 9 cities in Chhattisgarh which can be receiving a serious infrastructural facelift with give attention to areas comparable to water provide, sewerage and septage administration, stormwater drains, pedestrian comforts, non-motorised and public transport amenities, parking house, inexperienced areas, park and recreation centres.

The entire metropolis is split into 502 grids, the place every grid is manned by proportionate personnel and equipment that has evidently resulted in optimisation of present manpower, thereby lowering operations and upkeep (O&M) prices and drastically bettering service supply.

A outstanding venture spearheaded within the metropolis has been to modify from a standard overhead electrical energy provide system to an underground one which envisions offering around-the-clock energy provide throughout Bilaspur.


Hamar Bilaspur.

For guaranteeing 24×7 water provide, municipal authorities are incorporating advance measures like a redesigned stormwater system, hydrological info system and a compulsory shift to rainwater harvesting for eliminating dependence on groundwater. By means of good metering and supervisory management and information acquisition (SCADA) methods, Bilaspur intends to offer interminable electrical energy and water provide for its residents.

Alongside, town is addressing its waste administration points by augmenting collections factors throughout its precincts for managing sewerage/septage, E-waste, hazardous waste in addition to plastic waste. An built-in stable waste administration plant, the primary in Chhattisgarh, was inaugurated in Bilaspur not too long ago.

The power has a capability of 200 tons per day and ensures that the roughly two lakh kilos of waste generated by town each day is changed into utility merchandise by recycling. The target of this venture is to make the ‘waste to wealth’ idea a practical actuality.

As of sustainable practices, the authorities are vouching for photo voltaic vegetation and rooftop photo voltaic panels to satisfy its vitality necessities.

That is certainly a big step in direction of managing our already over-mined pool of non-renewable sources, as Bilaspur is without doubt one of the greatest coal suppliers within the nation. The roads have additionally switched to good LED illumination – 100 per cent photo voltaic powered.

Varied initiatives are additionally being initiated with the long run objective of turning each citizen in Bilaspur expert by 2030, beginning with authorities colleges providing talent improvement (Sangawari) for college kids within the night below the PPP mannequin.

Colleges are additionally within the means of being geared up with Atal Tinkering Labs, a programme fronted by NITI Aayog, below which seven areas have been recognized by involved authorities in Bilaspur that will be linked to analysis and innovation council and boards.

Bilaspur has a sensible ‘Metropolis-Jan’ card for all its residents, that bridges the hole between the individuals and administration by integrating varied e-governance and public providers powered by a digital pockets—all below one single platform.

One could make use of the good bus and parking amenities, re-charging stations and Lease-a-Cycle scheme utilizing this card throughout town. An internet public suggestions system can also be in place that permits individuals to share concepts or options in addition to file grievances.

Additional maintaining with India’s race in direction of full digitisation, labour markets or Chowdis are being upgraded to a proper platform by integrating e-skill and digital employment trade portals.


Alongside, 9 newly outlined merchandising zones have been recognized, from the place distributors could be working out of modular merchandising kiosks which can be optimally built-in with an internet cost and allocation platform.

From Raen Baseras for housing the homeless to nursing houses and hostel for working girls, Bilaspur can also be working in direction of offering reasonably priced housing for all—by beneficiary-led and credit-linked mechanism each in-situ and ex-situ fashions. A complete of three, 374 homes are to be constructed below this scheme.

From initiatives like 7.69 km lengthy ‘Comfortable Avenue’ that has strolling and biking tracks to the redevelopment of present water our bodies with sewage remedy vegetation (STP) and inexperienced patches which have open gyms and child-friendly parks, Bilaspur is using varied conservation measures to make the cityscape a inexperienced and wholesome public areas throughout town.

By unfurling a revolutionary e-rickshaw speedy transit system, the authorities intend to part out the common diesel-intensive autorickshaws in addition to cycle rickshaws and have already sanctioned 500 electrical automobiles already by subsidy and Nationwide City Livelihoods Mission (NULM).

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Bilaspur not too long ago grew to become the primary metropolis within the state to start out a first-of-its-kind GIS-based guide and mechanical sweeping venture below the Sensible Cities Mission in convergence with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

A state-of-the-art ‘Sanitation Management Room’ has been arrange on the Bilaspur Sensible Metropolis Restricted (BSCL) headquarters, which permits real-time monitoring of the sweeping and sanitation actions by ICT instruments.

These three cities, with their plans, are absolutely a path to the long run – the place each metropolis in India may be of a typical that we’re all happy with.

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

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