PM starts consultations on Smart City initiative

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting with government officials on the Smart City initiative, which formed part of a series of consultations on smart cities.

The prime minister has asked the ministry of urban development to convene a workshop of all central and state urban development authorities at the earliest. Improvement of the quality of urban governance would be one of the aims of the smart city thereby lending greater strength to the overall governance processes of the country. He added the workshop also would focus on reforms in laws related to urban development.

Calling for identification of parameters that could be laid down for smart cities, he asked officials to identify the basics of infrastructure, quality of life, and citizen-centric services that would be essential to cities of the 21st century. He added cities need to be identified as hubs of economic activity with focus on "waste to wealth" with waste-water treatment being an important part of the development of smart cities.

The prime minister asked government officials to factor in ''urban-dependent'' population, in addition to ''urban'' population while planning for Smart Cities.

Meanwhile, union home minister Rajnath Singh said today that every state in the country would establish one SMART police station, asking the respective governments to submit their proposals with specific location and components by 31 January, 2015, ANI reported.

An initiative mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, SMART police stations (S-Sensitive and Strict; M-Modern with mobility; A- Alert and Accountable; R- Reliable and Responsive; T- Trained and Techno-savvy) would also seek to be the primary point of interaction between citizens and the police.

As per the directives by Singh, the ministry of home affairs had decided to allocate specific funds for establishing SMART police stations in each state shortly. The ministry would work towards the founding of more SMART police stations during the next financial year.

The suggested features of a SMART police station include basic amenities for visitors, including a waiting area, toilets and drinking water; rest room for constables, including separate room for women constables; natural lighting and ventilation, CCTV, record room, communication room for wireless, computers, and so on; and automated kiosks for filing of complaints by the public.