NDMC’s Rs 3,600 crore budget focusses on Smart City plan

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Last year’s Smart City project remained the focus of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) when it announced its 2017-18 annual budget on Friday. The project includes making Connaught Place (CP) a car-free zone by mid-February, LEDs atop street poles, and Wi-Fi connectivity, among other things.

NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar presented receipts amounting to Rs 3,627.08 crore, against a total estimated expenditure of Rs 3,621.62 crore. The Council’s proposal to pedestrianise CP for three months on a pilot basis, however, does not have an action plan yet.

“We are still in the process of consulting with stakeholders. There will be some loss of revenue initially, but we hope to make it a win-win situation eventually. We have roped in the Delhi Traffic Police to work out the plan,” Kumar said.

Electric or battery vehicles connecting the approach roads with a ‘park and ride’ facility will also be started under the project. An outlay of Rs 125 crore has been earmarked for the sensor-based parking management system and a project for smart roads.

“At present, parking facilities at the Palika Bazaar, Shivaji Terminal, and Baba Kharak Singh Marg are under-utilised. Only 20 per cent of these places is used, which clogs the on-the-road parking area,” a senior official said.

The NDMC has also established a public limited company — New Delhi Municipal Council Smart City Limited (SPV) — for its Smart City project. The areas under NDMC have been selected as one of the 20 cities under the Smart Cities mission of the Ministry of Urban Development. It is being hailed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project.

“The SPV has received a grant of Rs 194 crore from the MoUD, and Rs 56 crore from the NDMC. We have allotted work on most projects,” Kumar said.

Besides, the civic body has set aside a fund of Rs 7.5 crore each for technology innovations and to run its sustainability scheme for promoting green initiatives.

The Council has also proposed to establish a Technology Board, having mentors from academia, research institutes, and think tanks to drive technology innovations.

“Countries in other parts of the world have Technology Boards in order to innovate for Smart Cities. We plan to set up a board on similar lines. We are in touch with institutions and companies, such as IIT-Delhi, Cisco, and Microsoft, among others, to contribute to our digital initiatives,” Kumar added.

R-Day, Times Square-style

The NDMC plans to telecast this year’s Republic Day parade through LEDs on its building facade. Inspired by New York’s Times Square, the civic body is all set to light up the facade of its building — Palika Kendra — at Sansad Marg in Lutyen’s Delhi.

The 21-storey building, tallest in the area, will have live streaming of national and international events, connecting the city to other Capital cities of the world. The building from 11th floor and above will be illuminated, covering 1,350 square metres (width) of the total area.