Surat Smart City- The Glorious Makeover

“From LED streetlights, automated traffic system, cashless transactions to smart parking, the city of Surat is all set to have its grand makeover under Smart City Mission.”

WORDS BY- AABHA TIWARI

“From LED streetlights, automated traffic system, cashless transactions to smart parking, the city of Surat is all set to have its grand makeover under Smart City Mission.”

Driving through the pucca streets of Surat at any dull afternoon or at dusk can attract some unwarranted attention for law breakers. Surat, also known as the ‘Diamond City’ or ‘Silk City’, boasts of LED street lights powered by solar energy on its roads and by-lanes.
Often residents are found complaining about being penalised for breaking rules and that’s because they oft get a ticket and evidence directly on their smartphone for flouting traffic rules.

At other major parts of the city, traffic police have been replaced by automatic speed detectors. If that doesn’t surprise you much, there’s a smart card called ‘S-connect’ that lets a common man pay the fine through a cashless, online transaction.

This is just a tiny glimpse of how the diamond city would appear, in the span of next five years, once the National Democratic Alliance Government’s much popularised and ambitious project of a Smart City takes shape.

As part of the Smart City Mission launched by PM Narendra Modi on 25th June 2015, the city of Surat was selected among 100 cities of India to be developed as a

smart city under the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India with the required consent of the Government of Gujarat and the statutory authority of Surat Municipal Corporation.

The Minister of Urban Development, Government of India, Shri.
Venkaiah Naidu stated, “Smart City Mission marks a paradigm shift towards urban development in the country since it is based on ‘bottom-up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of city vision and smart city plans and the urban local bodies piloting the mission with the ministry of urban development.”

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Surat Smart City Mission had a total outlay of Rs2, 908 crore when it began in June 2015. At the end of three years, Surat has completed 17 out of 58 projects worth ₹ 173.31 crore. Twenty six projects worth ₹ 2005.86 crore are a different stages of implementation while 15 projects worth ₹ 728.83 crore are in tendering stage.

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The approval committee of Surat Smart City Development has decided to station an intelligent parking management system with a budget of ₹ 5 crores at the nine multi-level parking and two off-street parking into the city. The Surat Municipal Committee (SMC) has also decided to install the biometric and attendance system, which will have citizen’s face and fingerprint templates.

With the installation of a smart parking system, the locales will surface a big difference from the present situation. Traders and potential buyers who visit the city from another, for textiles and diamonds, face a chaotic mess of unruly traffic caused by workers loading and unloading stock in the busy market.

Adds Anil Goplani, Chairman of the standing committee and member of the approval committee, “The intelligent parking management system will provide us information on how many parking slots are available at a particular parking site and for how long a slot has been occupied.” With the implementation of proposed methods and system in the city, the flow of business will get smoothen, reciprocating more economic value to Surat.

“The Smart City Proposal (SCP) will benefit not just the commoners and pedestrians but also the leading trade community in seamless loading and unloading of stock”, states leading city-based textile trader.
Even though the core development on this project is yet to unveil, the city already boasts of a few firsts, one of them is the city’s tertiary water treatment plant with the capacity of 40 million litres a day. The capacity is highest among Indian cities, covering the 95% drinking water to its seven-million population.

The development of the city has been divided into two parts- Pan-city development and Area-based development. Under the pan-city development, it majorly focuses on implementing a system and services that cater to the easement of ‘transport, mobility and connectivity’. Whereas the area-based development highlights the smart solutions like implementing the 24×7 water supply, smart and qualitative metering, LED street lights, skywalks, recycling of the waste and affordable housing under the umbrella of Smart City Mission.

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