GUWAHATI, Nov 11 - Experts speaking at a discussion on the proposed Guwahati Smart City, organised by the PHE Retired Engineers� Forum here recently, laid stress on addressing the issues concerning safety, health and public needs of the city residents.
They observed with great concern that the city, which is the gateway to the North East, has been subjected to haphazard growth, which has created hazards for its inhabitants and commuters, who are suffering due to the lack of infrastructural facilities as a whole and the menace of waterlogging during the rainy season.
Though the civic authorities have initiated long-term and short-term plans to combat the menace of waterlogging and address the other civic issues, the results of such plans are yet to be perceived in a sustainable manner, observed the participants during the discussion.
Taking part in the discussion as the appointed speaker, renowned Florida-based architect and town planner Amiya Kumar Das advocated a legislation, superseding the existing British Law of 1932. He highlighted three important requirements for a city � public safety, health and public need. He emphasised the need to control artificial floods, save the city hills, conserve its water bodies, take measures for road safety and create open spaces and parks in the city.
Engineer PK Chakraborty, outlined a list of core infrastructure elements and smart city features. The list includes adequate water supply, assured electric supply, proper sanitation including solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, affordable housing facilities for the urban poor, safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and elderly persons.
D Rajbangshi, Additional Commissioner, GMC, participated in the discussion as the chief guest. He explained the concept of a smart city, saying that it is a matter of �feeling.� He also explained the process of selection of Guwahati among the major urban areas of the State.
He stated that citizens have a dominant role to play in Guwahati becoming one of the 20 smart cities of the country in this respect. He appealed to the people to offer their suggestions and for this purpose, he said online facilities are also available.
The GMC Additional Commissioner said that 30 per cent of scoring marks, which is the deciding factor in selection on a priority basis, rest with the citizens. The members from WAPCOS, who have been entrusted with the task of preparing the approach paper/DPR, outlined briefly their plan for the work.
Earlier, engineer Satyabrata Sarma briefly stated the purpose of the meeting and accorded a warm welcome to the speakers and guests.
Engineer SR Saikia, president of the forum, requested all the members of the audience representing various organisations, to respond to the call of the GMC so that the city figures in the priority list for implementation of the plans and programmes of the Union government. Engineer Babul Chakravorty offered the vote of thanks on the occasion, said a delayed press release here.