Take people in confidence
Environmental sustainability should certainly be the centrepiece of any development project. For eco-sensitive projects Indian government rules make it compulsory to have environmental clearance. Under international treaty conventions or local laws, green norms are defined and implemented. Not only the…

Environmental sustainability should certainly be the centrepiece of any development project. For eco-sensitive projects Indian government rules make it compulsory to have environmental clearance.

Under international treaty conventions or local laws, green norms are defined and implemented. Not only the government, but also non-governmental organisations (NGOs) keep a close watch on development projects.

Many NGOs and green activists think that turning Dehradun into a Smart City will be a disaster in the making. They assert that state governments are still going ahead with policy making ignoring the lessons learnt from the devastating floods in Chennai. Critics say that In view of the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, the proposed Dehradun Smart City proposal should be studied thoroughly.

The green brigade says ordinary people may get enamoured by claims that Smart Cities would mean shanties getting a makeover and there will be seamless connectivity that promises unheard and unseen efficiencies in the delivery of basic civic services.

NGOs claim such images being touted are false and point to the devastation that the Himalayan state went through. They assert that it was a man-made disaster because of indiscriminate and unplanned development.

The “once upon a time” quaint and quiet city of Dehradun is alleged to have become encroachers’ paradise and commercial land-grabbers. NGOs fear the acquisition of close to 2,000 acres of tea estate – an area roughly 3km by 3km with rich bio-diversity – for the Smart City will destabilise the ecosystem.

They also suspect that the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with universities from China with apparently no urban experience in India are being provided large equity stake in special purpose vehicles that are being created in partnership with the state government.

The only way the government can win the confidence of the people in such vulnerable areas is to assure them that Smart Cities would not disturb the ecosystem and the proposal would be taken forward only after instilling confidence among the people about environmental sustainability as an integral issue in developing Smart Cities. The government has a long way to go in accomplishing such objectives.

Related Articles

Related

Major changes among property developers

The Indian real estate industry is on the cusp of a major transformation. A clutch of tough regulations and the drop in black money and interest rates are set to propel the sector to greater heights. In the recent past, analysts have pointed to the expansion of large...

read more

Pune vision document out in the open

The vision document for the Smart City project in Pune has been made available for citizens. People can give their suggestions and objections about the document. The administration will submit the report to the government in the second week of December. The document...

read more

Jharkhand govt identifies 340 acres of land

The Jharkhand government has identified 340 acres of land in the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) campus in Ranchi to build its Smart City, urban development department secretary Arun Kumar Singh said on Sunday. Analysts have lauded this as they believe that the...

read more

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This