Varanasi Smart City: Here are some of the key initiatives which are being undertaken under the Varanasi Smart City project.
Varanasi Smart City project: Having recently been ranked among the top 20 smart cities, Varanasi has been paired up with Amritsar to pull up the level of development in the latter. The progress of all the 100 cities participating in the mission so far, was ranked by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. In an attempt to ensure that all the cities progress and achieve their goals, the Centre paired up the 20 best performing smart cities with 20 worst performing ones.
Varanasi has started several initiatives under its smart city mission, possibly because Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, putting the right pressure on the city authorities of leading with example. Here are some of the key initiatives which are being undertaken under the Varanasi Smart City project:
Suramya Kashi (Picturesque Kashi)
An initiative under the area-based development category, Suramya Kashi aims to rejuvenate its famous Ghats along the Ganga River and the establishment of the ‘Kashi Kala Dham’, a centre of excellence to promote and learn Hindustani Classical Music to revive the city’s famous Benaras Gharana, which led to the branding of Varanasi as the ‘City of Music’. Apart from this, the initiative also looks at restoring the face of the city and organising heritage walks, providing the facility of electric crematoriums at cremation Ghats, install signages on as many as 84 Ghats and developing the Shri Kashi Vishwanath corridor.
Nirmal Kashi (Pure Kashi)
Another area-based development initiative, Nirmal Kashi focuses on redevelopment and landscaping of smart parks, developing and beautifying ponds, sewage management system, rejuvenation of the Mandakini Kund and development and construction of Kanha Upvan, which would be a gaushala. This initiative also includes the re-development of wards of Old Kashi.
Surakshit Kashi (Secure Kashi)
In an attempt to ramp up the security in the pilgrim town, the project includes the installation of a surveillance system across Varanasi, setting up of a helpdesk for women and senior citizens, upgrading police stations and emergency helplines to improve the safety of children, women and senior citizens.
Samunnat Kashi (Progressive Kashi)
Not wanting to stay behind in the field of education and skill enhancement, Varanasi Smart City project has come up with the Progressive Kashi initiative, under which a smart school and skill development centre will be developed. Apart from that, a digital library will be established and the sports complex will be redeveloped. Moreover, tourist facility and market complex at Dashashwamedh will also be set up.
Ekikrit Kashi (Integrated Kashi)
One of the pan-city initiatives, this includes setting up of information kiosks, a Kashi Integrated Command and Control Centre (KICCC) and development of Kashi one-stop portal and mobile app.
Sanyojit Kashi (Organised Kashi)
Another of the pan-city initiatives, Sanyojit Kashi would include projects like smart placemaking under flyovers, development of multi-level two-wheeler parking, redevelopment of park and basement parking, improvement and upgradation of road intersections, integrated traffic management system and urban revitalisation and junctions improvement.
Smart City Mission Explained
Smart City Mission aims to provide for the aspirations and requirements of the people, while also developing the institutional, physical, social, and economic infrastructure to build a complete urban eco-system.
The objectives of the mission are:
- To provide basic infrastructure
- Improve and enhance the quality of life
- Ensure and strive for clean and sustainable environment
- Apply smart solutions
- Set examples which can be replicated within as well as outside the smart city, so as to enhance the creation of more smart cities.