Bhubaneswar's Winning Smart City Plan

Shailesh Pathak

Jan 29, 2016, 06:16 PM | Updated Feb 24, 2016, 04:16 PM IST

India’s Smart Cities Challenge is a good example of execution with speed and scale. The first 20 cities winning the smart cities challenge competition were announced on 28 January 2016. To recap, the guidelines were announced on 28 June 2015, and the last date for submitting smart city plans was 15 December 2015.

97 cities took part in the competition. While a longer piece follows, this is to share the Smart City Plan of the highest ranking city, Bhubaneswar. Please see the entire plan embedded below.

Key takeaways:

  1. The total smart city project is Rs 4,573 crores (USD 670 mn), out of which only 22% comes from Government of India and Government of Odisha. The balance would be raised by Bhubaneswar with innovative financing.
  2. Citizen engagement was exemplary. Note that a fourth of the presentation is on how Bhubaneswar’s citizen consultation engaged and involved city residents.
  3. Top four priorities were mobility, drinking water, waste management and energy.
  4. Five strategic pillars were spelt out in 30 city goals, with specific projects.
  5. The area development plan of 985 acres (3.9 sq km) around the Railway Station is something all Indian cities could emulate.

Great work by Dr Krishan Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, Mr Anant Narayan Jena, Mayor of Bhubaneshwar, and Team Bhubaneshwar. Take a bow!

Now that 20 cities from 11 states and one union territory (Delhi) have been declared winners in the first round, another 23 cities (one each from the remaining states and union territories) would be selected in 2016. These have to submit a modified smart city plan by 15 April. Bhubaneswar’s plan would be great learning for such contenders.

Shailesh Pathak is into Cities, Infrastructure, Finance and Public Policy, with 14 years in the private sector and 16 years with the IAS. He tweets at @shypk

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