The government made an announcement last week, listing the 20 smart cities that are going to be built as a part of the PM’s vision for the country and Chennai, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, made the list. Along with Coimbatore, these two cities will get Rs 500 crores each from the Centre for their upgrade from regular cities to smart ones.
So, what is on the agenda?
Water. Yes, this life-giving liquid ranks among the top priorities of this smart-city-in-waiting. Safer water, cleaner ways of getting it and making it all more sustainable is where the city wants to go next. The first initiative that has been announced is that of a desalination plant to be built in T.Nagar, to take care of that prime area’s water needs.
Right now, T.Nagar’s homes and businesses get their water from the plans in Nemmeli and Minjur. With the installation of the Rs 173 crore desalination plant in and for T.Nagar, a great deal of pressure would be let off the two plants, freeing them to provide water to other, needy areas. By introducing smart meters, a tight reign can be kept on the water usage and eliminate needless wastage.
As per the govt’s announcement, this is the pilot project and upon its success, the model will be replicated throughout the state. Here’s hoping it is!
Other projects that will be highlighted include rain-water harvesting and flooding measures as well as completion of the laying of storm water drains in all parts of the city.
In both Chennai and Coimbatore, the other smart city designate, water, sanitation and waste management, with sustainability as the key ingredient, are the prime areas of focus.
After Swacch Bharat, it is now time for Tandarust Bharat. Say hello to Jaldaan. Say what?
Jaldaan is a new initiative launched by the government to encourage the citizens to donate water to those in need. Literally, daan = donation, jal = water. According to the small print, each person taking the pledge must donate 5 litres of water to someone that has no access to clean drinking water. To make this more attractive to the denizens, there’s Madhuri Dixit, exhorting the masses to join in and donate water, just like her.
You know, in case altruism isn’t enough reason for you to start doing something nice.