Director of Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd (IPSCDL), the special purpose vehicle formed to implement the Smart City Mission for Panaji city, Sidharth Kunkalienkar and managing director/ chief executive officer of IPSCDL Swayamdipta Pal Chaudhuri have stated that the traffic woes as well as the potable water problems faced by the citizens of Panaji can be eliminated by providing smart solutions.
In a joint press release titled ‘Transforming Panaji Under Smart City Mission’ about the achievement as well as plans under the Smart City Mission for the capital city, they have maintained that controlling the traffic in the city is one of the highlights of the Smart City Mission, and the idea of Smart City is that the walkable nature of Panaji has to be preserved.
“We are putting a lot of things in place through a Comprehensive Mobility Plan. It is something that we are working on. We will have enough parking spaces and also at the same time reduce the vehicles that are coming into the city. Building car parks in the city is not the solution. You have to discourage people from using private transport and proliferate more on the public transport,” the press release stated.
As part of the strategy to revamp the public transport system, consultancy firm Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd
(UMTC) has already been tasked with identifying suitable transport plans at the city and state levels.
“We are thinking of mobility within the city. We are planning for an outer loop. But that is not an immediate plan. We are trying to bring some buses in the city, eco-friendly buses, to ensure that at least the major areas of Panaji are covered and people can get from origin to destination in a time-bound manner. We are also building the infrastructure for a bicycle sharing system,” the press release informed.
Maintaining that Smart City is about using technology for a better quality of life, the press release observed that, “For instance, you will be surprised to know that Panaji has a water supply of 310 litres per capita per day. That is the supply and the usage against the national average of 135. That tells you there is no shortage of water in Panaji. But then there are still people using tankers. This means there is an issue with the distribution. ”
“It’s not that there’s a scarcity of water. It means that the water is not getting in the right place where it is required. So this is where you can use technology where officials in the public works department can monitor where there is pilferage or water leakage. That’s exactly where the smart components of a Smart City are going to come in,” it pointed out.
Furthermore, the press release stated that although it’s called Smart City Panaji, the benefits are moving beyond the confines of the city and projects are being lined up in the suburbs of Panaji as well. “For instance, Ribandar’s power woes will be addressed with underground cabling of wires besides the other projects that are in the pipeline for Ribandar,” it noted.
In fact, in order to resolve the issue of erratic power supply faced by the capital this monsoon, IPSCDL has floated a tender to modernise the power infrastructure by bringing in SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) compact power stations. As part of the project, existing overhead power cables in Panaji city will be moved underground.
“We want to fulfil core priorities, which affect the common man and not just have nice public spaces. We want to give adequate water, uninterrupted power to the people. We want the city to be safe, especially for women, children and the elderly. We want the garbage to be disposed in a proper way. We want to make Panaji a healthy city,” the press release maintained.