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What Citizens Want in the Smart Cities of India

A dirty location in India's capital New Delhi. Photo by: Rakesh Raman

A dirty location in India’s capital New Delhi. Photo by: Rakesh Raman

LocalCircles, an online citizen engagement platform in India, released Friday shared collective insights from citizens of over 70 selected smart cities of India on what they want from the Smart City Mission for their city.

The online citizen communities were enabled for over 160 cities in June 2015 upon the launch of the Smart Cities Mission bringing together citizens in these cities to discuss what it would take for their city to become a smart city on the ground and other local issues related to civic, traffic, law / order, governance, emergency response, health, etc.

[ Also Read: Welcome to the Smart City of Stray Dogs ]

While over 5,000 inputs were received across the 70+ selected smart city communities and via the national community, the key takeaways, according to LocalCircles, are the following:

Citizen Inputs on Structure of the Smart Cities Mission

  • Indian Smart City definition should be developed in the context of India
  • Citizens have not been consulted in selection of Smart Cities and must be involved in the selection, ratings and evaluation of Swachh Bharat, AMRUT, and Smart City initiatives for their city
  • Almost 100% of the Urban Local Bodies today do not have the skills / machinery to execute a Smart City
  • Swachh Bharat and AMRUT delivery is critical before the Smart City funds are released to a City
  • Once Smart City funds are released, all details must be shared with the citizens via a public platform in a timely and transparent manner

Citizen Expectations from what their city should have when it turns into a Smart City

  • 24X7 supply of Power and Water
  • Effective waste collection and disposal system
  • Efficient Public Transportation
  • Good Air Quality
  • Citizen Oriented Governance
  • Smart Policing and very low crime rate
  • Disaster and Emergency Readiness infrastructure
  • Over 75% planned housing and roads
  • Availability of jobs
  • Good education, health and recreation infrastructure

“In this day and age of technology and social media, connecting with citizens is just a few clicks away,” said Sachin Taparia, chairman and CEO of LocalCircles.

Citizens in many of these online communities are already discussing traffic, civic, safety, infrastructure and many other local governance issues as well as their solutions, says LocalCircles.

It further says that citizens in the communities belong to varied backgrounds ranging from Resident Welfare Association (RWA) leaders, senior citizens, social workers, homemakers, doctors, small business owners, and professionals.

This article is part of our editorial initiative called REAL VOTER that covers political developments in India. Click here to visit REAL VOTER.

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