Panaji Smart City blueprints presented to citizens at the stakeholder meeting

Panaji, November 2015: The final stakeholder consultation meeting on the Panaji Smart City proposal was held earlier today in the city.

The city of Panaji has taken into account the citizen’s suggestions and drafted a blueprint for the city. Mobility, retrofitting, IT enabled municipal service delivery and solid waste management have emerged as key focus areas of development for the city. The Commissioner Sanjit Rodrigues along with the team of consultants from ICLEI South Asia presented the draft blueprint for the city of Panaji.  The financial proposals were also presented at the stakeholder meeting

The vision of the city which emerged during the process of creating a draft master plan for the holistic development of the city by LKS India has been re-endorsed by  95% of the citizens engaged with.

The Smart City project required citizens to collaborate and select initiatives under two categories – a pan city initiative which will benefit the city as a whole and a specific area based development.

The research and citizen engagement process, threw up key priority sectors which will be pan-city initiatives. Of these 30% of citizens engaged with voted for mobility, 20% for waste management, 15% for e- governance and 13% each for health and education.

With regards to area based development, four potential options had emerged for development, from the citizen engagement process. Of these, 42% voted for up gradation or retrofitting of conservation zones, 30% for redevelopment of underdeveloped  pockets for urban poor, 16% for redevelopment of the government colony at St. Inez, Altinho and Patto and 12% voted for  Greenfield (new development) in Kadamba plateau.

Going by the Smart City guidelines, the team proposed that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) be created which will look into the execution of all aspects related to the smart city project. A ten member Board of Directors has been proposed to oversee progress, while a CEO to be appointed who will lead the team on the ambitious project. To ensure true citizen representation and ensure transparency and quality standards, it has been proposed that a prominent citizen be invited to be on the board which will have representation from an industry association, Indian institutes of Architects/Planners, Urban local body, Ministry of Urban Development/Finance/Govt of Goa and Indian Institute of Engineers among others.

Area Based Proposals:

Eight area based proposals were put forward to the citizens of Panaji at the stakeholder meeting. These included.

  1. Biodiversity
  2. Upgradation of Rua de Orem creek and Patto area
  3. Integrated urban water management
  4. Church area revitalization
  5. Service improvement for urban poor in Mala heritage zone
  6. Provision of basic facilities
  7. Heritage and conservation
  8. Revitalisation of Mala lake

Additionally two pan city initiatives were presented to the citizens. These initiatives essentially add a ‘smart’ layer to existing situations to make efficient use of existing city infrastructure. These included:

  1. IT enabled municipal service delivery
  2. Transport: Eco Mobility and public transport

The draft proposal will be presented to the city councilors at the Council Meeting of the CCP on the 30th of November.  The proposal will be submitted to the state government on the 8th of December and thereafter, the final submission will be made to the central government on the 14th of December.

Process of putting together the Panaji Smart City Proposal:

Over the last many weeks the Panaji Smart City cell has been engaging with citizens across various platforms to gather feedback and suggestions towards the smart development of the city of Panaji. This includes public consultation meetings and focus group discussions with stakeholders, road shows and zonal meetings, workshops, public meetings, social media forums, smart city app and zone wise ideation sessions.

Through various means the team has directly engaged with and received suggestions from 18,626 unique citizen respondents. This amounts to  46.54% of the city population. A dedicated back-office team scanned through every single suggestion, comment and feedback submitted by citizens across platforms which has aided in creating the blueprint for the city.

Citizen groups and associations came forward to share suggestions for building an ideal smart city. Team FC Goa joined the capital city’s efforts to create a vibrant, smart and sports – friendly city and showed its support for the campaign. The club submitted a petition to city leaders to create a football park for the benefit of Goa’s football enthusiasts. Goa’s cycling community too held a rally through the city and submitted a petition to city leaders to make Panaji a cycle friendly city. Industry body CII partnered with CCP to jointly organize a Panaji Smart City Round Table and Technical Exhibition where CII brought together a consortium of industry experts who shared technical presentations on best practices and possible smart solutions for the city. Additionally the IT Professionals group, NGOs and civic groups, Disability association and key stakeholders have collectively shared their aspirations and suggestions for a better city.

The choices which had emerged were put to vote to the citizens of Panaji. The Panaji Smart City team lead by the consultants ICLEI South Asia went back to the citizens, engaged with the community and gathered their thoughts, choice and suggestions. In a true representation of citizen participation, the citizens of Panaji came forward to chalk out the plan for their city.

In an effort to understand and gauge the wishes and aspirations of the younger generation especially children and youth, an essay competition was held across schools on the Smart Panaji theme. The initiative saw 1550 essays come in from school children and in the open category.

Panaji, the capital of Goa has been selected in the list of 100 Smart cities under the Smart City Mission of Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India launched in June 2015. As the next step, Panaji now has to get shortlisted in the final round of the MoUD’s Smart City Challenge, where 20 other cities would be selected to be developed in the first year.

The Smart Cities Mission is an innovative initiative by the Government of India to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens. The Mission will cover 100 cities over a period of five years (FY2015-16 to FY2019-20).

Government of India, through the Competitive Smart Cities Challenge, will shortlist the best proposals and then finally award funding for the implementation of Smart solutions