The city of Varanasi is vying to get a spot in the next list of smart list after submitting a 6-pillar “Smart-Kashi” plan to the Centre.
The six components of the integrated proposal submitted include Suramya (Picturesque), Nirmal (Pure), Surakshit (Safe), Smmunat (Improved), Ekatrit (Integrated) and Sanyojit (Planned).
Varanasi competed to be in the lists of 20 and 13 smart cities released earlier but it failed to get selected. Hence, it has come up with a revised plan which ensures of maintaining the right balance of ancient tradition and modern innovation. The city is looking forward to rope in companies such as Uber, Philips, Schneider Electric, IBM and Ericsson to implement this vision of a “traditional-yet-smart” Varanasi.
The proposals also includes plans of building electric crematoriums along with pedestrian and disabled-friendly streets, rejuvenated temples and ghats, a Night Bazaar at Assi Ghat for promoting local cuisine and local handicrafts.
A single access card has been proposed for integrated online payments for multiple modal transport, like the proposed Varanasi metro, utilities and entry fees to heritage sites. The plan also includes getting interactive panels and digital signage with interactive maps for all historical sites. It involves a public bicycle sharing service, traffic sensors and smart street lights with LED lighting and panic buttons.
The upcoming list of smart cities, including 40 cities, will be released by the Centre in August 2016.