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Plan on for smart cities

- Ranchi, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Deoghar up for facelift

The state urban development department is planning to turn Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Deoghar into “smart cities” and preparing detail project reports (DPRs) for the same.

The project will be a part of 100 smart cities proposed by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in his maiden budget this year, providing a direction to a concept that has been awaiting a nod and financial push for long. The Narendra Modi government has set aside a sum of Rs 7,060 crore for development of the smart cities across the country.

The four cities in Jharkhand have been selected for this ambitious project on the basis of their relative importance. While Ranchi is the capital and face of the state, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad hold prominence as industrial hubs of mineral-rich Jharkhand. Deoghar, on the other hand, is a popular tourist and pilgrimage centre, thus makes it to the list.

Secretary (urban development) Ajay Kumar Singh said the work on proposals was on and the DPRs were likely to be ready by the end of this month.

“We will send our proposals with detailed requirements to the Union urban development ministry for the necessary approval,” the secretary told The Telegraph.

Once the nod is received, the department will float tenders to develop the four cities on a public-private-partnership mode with financial assistance from both central and state governments.

Elaborating on the plan, Singh said the smart cities would be developed as satellite towns within larger cities and by modernising existing mid-sized cities.

Under the initiative, around 1,000-2,000 acres or even more with a variable population of 1-2 lakh will be selected in each of the four cities of the state for making infrastructure network and delivery of services more efficient.

“This will be done in terms of roads, transportation, logistics, water and gas supply, sanitation etc. The cities will boast solid waste management, water recycling, automated water metering and billing to ensure zero water loss, drainage system, traffic management, organised parking system, emergency helpline numbers, surveillance cameras, malls and automated building security. In a nutshell, minimum human intervention,” he added.

Department sources said the main objective was to take the benefits of urbanisation and development to a larger segment of the population. This, they added, would also check mass migration from rural areas to cities.


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