Patna: Despite widespread cynicism expressed by many regarding the government's attempt to give Patna the color of a smart city in spite of its crumbling infrastructure and a failed municipality, Patna Divisional Commissioner Anand Kishore on Wednesday gave his seal of approval to a preliminary draft that promises to turn Patna into a modern city with modern amenities for a cost of Rs. 2424 crore.
Believed by many to be an exercise in futility due to the pathetic track record of the state government that has not even been able to implement its plan for door-to-door garbage collection despite talks of such service going on for the past decade, the plan allocates Rs. 2163 for 'Area-based Development' and Rs. 279 crore for 'Pan City Project.
Apparently smitten by the word 'smart', the draft uses a lot of 'smart-sounding' terms including 'Smart Road', 'Model Park', and 'Smart Solid Waste Disposal' to paint a picture that, if put into reality, would turn Patna into the proverbial 'Paris' – a fantasy often mentioned by Bihar politicians.
"There will be underground dumpsters in areas like Boring Road and Dak Bungalow Road and trash will be collected through modern technology," the Development Commissioner said adding all activities would be monitored from a command and control room manned by top officials.
Furthermore, vending machines selling water would be installed at all major intersections and a 'riverfront' would be developed between Bans Ghat and Collectorate Ghat to give Patna'ites a safe place to hang out.
A multi-storied commercial building and a 'transportation hub' would be developed near the existing New Market and an exclusive 'vending zone' is also part of the plan that promises to put Patna in the list of developed and 'smart cities'.
Kishore said that the draft of the 'smart city' plan would be uploaded on the government's official website on Friday and once approved by a committee formed specifically for this purpose by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, would be sent to the Urban Development Ministry just in time to be included in the second phase of the ongoing national Smart City contest.
Patna District Magistrate (DM) Sanjay Kumar Agrawal and City Commissioner Abhishek Singh were among those who were present in today's meeting.