TODAY -

My Dream City - Imphal

Boris Leishangthem *

Aerial view of Imphal City during Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival 2012 :: November 2012
Aerial view of Imphal City during Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival in November 2012 :: Pix - MMTA



First of all I would like to thanks our honourable Prime minister for considering Imphal city for the smart city mission and to the IMC for taking golden initiative to make our Imphal city a smart city to live in and inviting the general public to put forth their views and suggestions in this regard. We, the people of Imphal dreams of such a smart city which encompasses experience, joy and pleasure as other modernised cities enjoys.

The smart city mission is been initiated by the MoUD which covers 100 cities during the five year period. In which our Imphal city has been named. Mission did not provide any definition of the smart city but aims to harness the potential of the city which aspires to become smart through smart solutions including e-governance and electronic service deliveries, smart meters for water supply management, smart parking and intelligent traffic management etc. It endeavour area based development through retrofitting, redevelopment and Greenfield.

There is no definite definition of a smart city, but the basic question is what we want a smart city to be, we may define smart cities as those where smart people live. A smart city is a city that connects with the people and transforms their life. Therefore, the basic criteria that a smart city should have will be base on peopleís thoughts and needs. It doesnít mean that all the criteria that other big cities like Mumbai has, should be there in small city like Imphal.

The priorities of retrofitting and redevelopment should be given to the basic amenities of life like, electricity, safe drinking water, solid waste management, transportation etc. which is the base of subsistence or is the need of hour. The people of Imphal have been facing basic challenges in certain fields which they felt that it need to be improved. Some of the fields are as follows.

1. A well planed and proper drainage system or Rain water harvesting system should be there so that there is no logging of rain water on road side. This is very common during heavy rainfall in Imphal city. If such things are gone uncheck can make us the victim of various fatal diseases like malaria and other epidemic diseases.

2. Ensuring supply of pure & safe drinking water 24 hrs and testing of water purity level by a team of expert should be there as people of Imphal city sometime experience scarcity of safe drinking water. In such situation people had to buy drinking water tank.

3. Supply of electricity should be made available 24x7. Generate other economical sources of electricity like a solar energy power plant project. Probably Imphal is now using a more advanced way of power supply in the city i.e. the prepaid system of power supply.

4. Solid waste coming from the home should be segregated from the paper, plastic and other wastes. For dumping wastes dustbins should be provided at all public places. Let the user to determine user waste charges for their waste. Thanks to IMC for the initiatives for the mobile waste collector van for proper disposal of waste. For Imphal to be a smart city, cleanliness with proper waste management strategies is inevitable.

5. Education imparted in schools whether it is Govt. /Pvt. Is basically theoretical in nature and the concept of vocational education should be annexed to their syllabi which prepare our young generation well in advance to earn while they learn and can get higher education which would otherwise cumbersome for the parents of those children earning from hand to mouth. Due to financial constraint they are unable to afford the fee to get their enrolled in such courses. Visual aids should be the mode of learning.

6. Road mishap and accidents are very common in Imphal city area. To solve this problem linking roads or subways should be constructed which paved the for pedestrians to move out safely, thereby reducing the mob on the busy crossings so that commercial vehicles too could run safely without making any injury to the pedestrian who would otherwise become the victim of an accident. Awareness about the traffic rules to the people should be mandatory. Improvement of the two highways which is considered the lifeline of Manipur as Imphal is the political and economic capital of Manipur.

7. Many factors influence health status and a cityís ability to provide quality health services for its people. Imphal city is the only destination of health care for patient coming from different part of the state. In present situation advanced health care institution in the city is very limited. Patient has to transfer to other state when a major medical issues comes up.

Establishing well equipped hospitals in different place of the city with well trained doctors giving real time access to patient records images and expert consultations, using any device, anywhere and education programmes for medical staff and patients through information and communication technologies can result in higher quality and safer, more patient response healthcare.

8. Smart cities must have a governance structure that encourages citizenís participation. This will make citizens own the city and be a part of its decision making. However, citizens must also be made responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and service.

Conclusion

Imphal city would be proud to say a Smart City when the basic amenities comprising building roads, 24x7 supplies of pure drinking water and electricity, pollution control, transport, health services, education, telecommunication, flood control, earth quake control measures and other natural calamities are well established. However Imphal is a diverse city in terms of culture and level of development.

The diversity of the city should be taken into account while planning the city. We also need to give important to indigenous knowledge and local solution. We may able to create smart city, but we need to transform governance so that the city does not revert back to the current state. We need to prepare everyone for a change.


* Boris Leishangthem wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at borisleishangthem(aT)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on December 23, 2015.


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