However grateful I remain to all my supporters with 1991 votes to my suggestion of 'Enhancing Education Quality' to prepare a Smart Generation for a Smart City, majority of Punekars turned it down and favored 6 suggestions for Technology and Apps, 2 for Bicycle usage, 1 for Parking spaces while Management of Construction Debris topped the list. I am neither depressed nor excited with this outcome, only concerned, as usual…! Today I attended the conference for ‘Smart City – Need and Challenges’ and felt very content to see 5 out of 8 speakers agreeing with my viewpoint… more or less! The most reciprocal and expressive were Girish Kulkarni (Noted Marathi Film Actor), Ajit Abhyankar (Veteran Communist), Vishwambhar Chaudahri (Environmental Activist), Mahesh Zagade (Commissioner PMRDA) and Prithviraj Chavan (Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra). This encouraged me to publish my suggestion here as promised earlier and also sharing the link to my presentation for my chosen suggestion in PDF format. I would appreciate my reader’s comments, feedback and remarks on it. Thanks.
[Hard Copy of the mail sent to email@example.com on Thursday, 16 July 2015]
Dear All, Good Morning!
This is Manish Puranik and this communication has the reference of Proposed Smart City Project for Pune and suggestions invited regarding it by the PMC. I recently have offered my suggestion for reform of the Urban Multi-facility Centers of PMC to an appeal for the same by Maharashtra Times. Following are my proposals for the Smart City as any sensible, responsive and responsible Citizen would envisage it. I have also filled the suggestion form (5 times because of the word limit of 250 which actually allows much lesser than that) on www.punesmartcity.org and with a concern that the pieces might lose the meaning and fail to create the anticipated impact, I am sending the composed version of it through this mail as below for your perual. Thanking you in anticipation, I look forward to some resolute convictions in view of the Smart City by PMC.
- The abbreviation ‘SMART’ in Management stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound and the same should be applied to all the plans and proposal of making Pune a Smart City. Starting from Education, it should be made sure that every child of 6 to 18 ages is attending some school and/or learning some skill that interests him/her and can provide employability by mastering it. Every school should be adopted by a Corporate under CSR and provided with facilities that the school lacks in and professional help offering holistic personality development in accordance with the findings of the Education Report 2015 by World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group. This would first ensure an engaged and SMART Next Generation for the Future SMART city.
- Secondly, whenever education is mentioned we automatically think of schools and children and students. It is far more necessary and relevant, why, rather imperative to train their parents and adults for the civic sense [e.g. following basic traffic rules] and public conduct [e.g. acting decently in a public place and not to spit, smoke or speak loudly]. A smart-phone can hardly do anything if its user is dumb, a computer however sophisticated it may be would be an idiot box unless the operator is smart enough to exploit its potential; similarly a SMART city, in absence of SMART Citizens would turn into not only dumb but disgusting sooner or later and in turn all the efforts and resources will go down the drain… literally!
- Public Transport should be the second priority making it efficient enough to reduce the load of private vehicles running under/over capacity (especially four wheelers with a single person and two-wheelers, rickshaws and school vans with more than their respective capacities) almost all the times on the roads. Change in routes, widening roads wherever possible, cap on new vehicle registration per month, encouraging carpool and other such syndicate activities could be some of the measures to counter this.
- Garbage would be the third priority that should be taken care of by inviting professionals that would undertake the task of educating people to properly segregate their garbage, collect it from their doorstep, process it for disposing, disintegrating, recycling or reuse in the most eco-friendly way. These People would work out a business model and present it to the concerned authorities. Unless there is any lucrative aspect to this otherwise stinking task, nobody is going to do it dutifully.
- Finally, the entire City Governance should be deployed to a customized GIS application monitored through a network of Urban Facility Centers placed in the grid of 3 KM center-to-center covering all the city limits. A Centralized City Database linked to each of these centers and managed/governed by a Central City Center would not only help understand any civic issues emerging from time to time but would also facilitate the solution in good time.