TODAY -

Lavasa, India's first Smart City

Akham Bonbirdhwaja Singh *



Since I wrote about green concerns of a smart city, many articles have appeared in the local papers as well as in the national dailies. The informed citizens are very much concerned what could be the shape of the smart city when the national mission on smart city is actually translated in to action and the dream of the PM becomes a reality. It is really a good sign.

There are so many concerns to be taken care of, there are feelings that an actual smart city could be utopian in concept, not possible to be actually materialised in true sense. My daughter after reading my article "Green Concerns of smart Cities" (TSE, Nov 26, 2015)suggested that I should visit Lavasa, a city near Pune at a distance of 56 km. I had a chance to visit the city recently.

Lavasa is developed to be a city with an initial area of 32km2 on a hill landscape of Western Ghats. It has been proposed to be a conglomerate of five townships, of which two have been completed. The city was a Rs. 40,000/- crores project. After full construction, it is to accommodate two lakhs people (please see the man-land ratio).

The city authorities and tour operators claim it to be the first smart city of the country. The local people are proud about the city, my cab driver was like a tourist guide, he claimed it to comparable to many modern smart cities, claiming LAVASA to be an abbreviation of London, Ankara, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Athens (or Auckland), could be an propagandist idea fed to the local people.

Experts opined that the city is based on the Italian town Portofino, with a street and several buildings bearing the name of that town. The artificial lake was created by the Varasgaon Dam, to create the exotic looking waterfront which is an attraction for the tourists.

There are theories that the smart cities should be economically sustainable. In Lavasa, the economic mainstay is planned to be tourism and education (by its creator AjitGulabchand) and of course retail markets. As the city is not yet in its full form, only tourism seems to have picked up the tempo, not the others. One care that needs to be taken is that the city hubs need to be isolated from main economic centres of retail and wholesale outlets.

In Jonkopping City of Sweden (second largest city of Sweden), the main shopping centres and Supermarkets (IKEA Retail Supermarkets) of the city are five km away from the city limitsto ease out unnecessary congestions and there are good public transport for that, very punctual public bus for every five minutes, accurate almost to the second.

The idea is that city citizens should be free from traffic delays, vehicular pollution and noise pollution. The pedestrians and cyclists should have separate pathways. "Citizens residing here can enjoy the walk to work lifestyle," said Lavasa Corporation President RajgopalNogja.In economic front, the Lavasa City promises 50,000 jobs for first ten years. The plan is to sustain its economy through tourism and education. The city combined with Lonavla could be a good touristspackage not so far off from Mumbai and very close to Pune, which is another clean city and an academic hub.

There are also other issues of clean water, healthcare and green energy, but these are basic needs, whether smart city or not, they are to be available. So they are not discussed at length, so I am confining to the Green Concerns, Economic activities, Digital Application and mobility. Because, these elements are important for the comfort of the residents, which is a priority in a smart city.

The solutions for economic and environmental sustainability, e-governance, security, waste management are going to be core issues. So now, we can see the city from the point of standard parameters of a smart city: There have been many controversies shrouding this smart city, political and environmental controversies, which have even slowed down the progress.It is true that we often discount the role of the nature in maintaining the environmental stability and sustainability while planning any development programme, though we all speak about protecting our environment.

The high rising buildings nonetheless, it gives an impression of being a clean city, but it is still could be short of being smart in true sense, I feel that the claim of being the "first smart city of the country" seems to be more with a marketing strategy. Lavasa is also claimed to be again first planned hill station, of course for a claim of being a smart city, it is to be a well-planned city.

In smart cities, let me tell you in lighter vein that everything should be smart; smart living, smart use of water and power, smart travelling, smart exercise, smart disposal of waste, smart governance, smart parking, smart businesss, smart crime control so on and so forth. To be fair, it can be said that this smart city has touched some of the smartness. We also must appreciate the concept which was started fifteen years back, a brainchild of Ajit Gulabchand. The city has already been honoured with "Best City Initiative" award by an organisation in Jaipur.

Take home from Lavasa for me is that out of ailing urban conglomerates, it would be difficultto convert any of them in to a real smart city, except in some where retrofitting and redevelopment are possible and where there are scope for expansion. We can make a city tourism smart or IT smart, but for having all the components, it shall be better on a new land, earmarking all the required components in a planned way, which would be difficult in the existing cities.

That way, Lavasa is a futuristic city, can be made in to a smart city. For being a tourist destination, it can well compete with the present hill stations like Nainital, Shimla and Ooty due to its proximity to Mumbai, Pune and other central Indian Cities.


* Akham Bonbirdhwaja Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on Janaury 17, 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • The human torch and AFSPA
  • The real taste of Independence Day
  • Mission XI football @ Andro :: Gallery
  • Krishna Janma @ Mahabali :: Gallery
  • Blood Donation for 13 August:: Gallery
  • Mahabali Temple , Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • Graphic & plastic arts of Zeliangrong #3
  • Silence :: Poem
  • Sport Univ: Promises kept but corruption?
  • Job requirements at SKY Hospital
  • Jobs @ National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • I-Day Celebration at BJP State Office
  • Celebrations amid militant boycott call
  • 3 Manipur terrorists arrested in Delhi
  • NSCN/GPRN condemns raid
  • NSCN-K signing hinges on cross-border..
  • Meira Rally on Patriots' Day #1 :: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata :: Gallery
  • 26th NAMA Convention Report, Houston, TX
  • Forming Plurals in Manipuri Language
  • Mammography and frequently ask question
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • NPF Office Bearers reaffirm support
  • DAN Co-ordination Meeting Resolutions
  • India and China: From rivalry to enmity
  • For better tomorrows
  • Security forces round up NSCN (IM) cadres
  • Survey 'finds' jumbos in Manipur
  • Kirti Chakra for brave major
  • President medal for IPS officer- Robin Hibu
  • 13 August @Hicham Yaichampat :: Gallery
  • Achingliu, Haokhulan, Hiyaichenbi: eMing
  • Patriots' Day @ Hojai, Assam :: Gallery
  • Protest: malpractices of MPSC :: Gallery
  • On MPSC scam & people defending it
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Delhi
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Hojai
  • Lajong U-12 to represent India in BRICS
  • Learn something from 2015 experience
  • The district creation headache
  • State Thang-Ta Competition :: Gallery
  • Search operation [Aug 12] :: Gallery
  • 13 August Patriots' Day : Read all about it
  • Thangal General : The Patriot
  • Proxy examination and Wrong politics
  • Women should not live in fear ....
  • Summer Thoughts :: Poem
  • NPF Youth serve Ultimatum to Rio
  • A slap on the face of Christianity
  • U-Morok @ Shirarakhong :: Gallery
  • Dangers of 'Trial by Media' & the MPSC
  • Is Culture of insensible activism taking root
  • Meiteilon never been Tibeto-Burman
  • Mechanized threshing of foodgrains #2
  • ZSUB Foundation Day, Fresher's Meeting
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Natural Body Building #3 :: Gallery
  • National Handloom Day @ GHY :: Gallery
  • Chirom Indira shine in hearts of NE Weavers
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Investigate killings as ordered by SC
  • MSTC CMD met with CM of Manipur
  • Conspiracy behind the toppling game
  • Armed groups attack..a human right abuse
  • Drawing Competition at Khengjoi, Chandel
  • Govt firm on protecting indigenous people
  • Suspension of Operation term extended
  • Rs 100 cr allotted to study NE floods
  • Save the indigenous people cry : Valley..
  • A matter need to ponder
  • Earthen wares of Ningthemcha Karong
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #2 :: Gallery
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #3 :: 360 ° View
  • XXVIII State Thang-Ta Competition 2017
  • India's HLPF review of SDGs & Manipur
  • Robotics as career options
  • International Day of Indigenous People
  • Rejoinder Issued By Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Hard facts of political crisis (Nagaland)
  • Kuki talks interlocutor appointed
  • Viewing through one's community
  • Darkening shadows of doubt
  • Ziumi village, Maram Landscape:: Gallery
  • Inter School Handball Tournament :: Gallery
  • The Proud Bamboo Tree :: Folk Tale
  • Populated Attitudes :: Poem
  • Marijuana, Mahadev and Maneka
  • Notice for MSc Biochemistry Admissions
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Assam edition of NE India Fashion Week
  • Kipgen pledges 'Zero Tolerance' crimes..
  • NTC reaffirms inclusive Naga settlement
  • Being different from Cong Govt
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Hanuba-hanubi paan thaba :: Funga Wari
  • ... All The Flowers Gone? #1 :: Gallery
  • Need to bust racket running inside MPSC
  • Will PM Modi betray Assam in No ST, no rest
  • State Level Essay Writing Competition
  • RIST Condolence Function at MU
  • When we stumble and fall
  • Customer Care Executive @ basicP, Imphal
  • Petition for Disqualification of 10 MLAs
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Rape of small newspaper
  • Landscape of Ukhrul District #2:: Gallery
  • Jhulon Nupi Pala Phamsak :: Gallery
  • TR is CM by technicality sans Legality
  • One Day in Heaven :: Poem
  • Libraries Vs Google: Are we heading there
  • ..for electrical distribution rearrangement
  • Plea to PM for 'inclusive solution'
  • Review call for Loktak power project
  • Lessons to learn from CCpur: public hygiene
  • Angaoba Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • The dawn of cricket in Manipur
  • Lumbini Leikolda Shat-houba Leirang
  • Workshop on MU Reservations held
  • Job posting at C-DAC Silchar
  • Lafikul murdered to stir communal tension
  • Wayward rules of law
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #1 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #4 :: 360 °
  • Admission for B.Ed at Manipur University
  • The Evening Blues :: Poem
  • A village called Nbena :: Book Review
  • Employment Generating Hands on Skill
  • Unnatural death of Sainik School student
  • Condemns killing of KNO/KNLF leader
  • AR conducts Pre Recruitment Training
  • Makeshift sheds at Lamphel
  • For a clean future generation
  • Mr Maipak Body Building #2:: Gallery
  • CM referring to ST Comm is ultra vires
  • VIP culture out, VVVIP culture in
  • Be an unchained raindrop :: Poem
  • Holistic education : Trends & challenges
  • Jobs - Going Officers Pamjei
  • Providing Various Health Benefit Plans
  • larification to Tokheho's recollections
  • Taxation check posts on NHs removed
  • Reveal Framework Agreement to public..
  • SoO groups in the news for wrong reasons
  • Confession
  • Nongbrang, bank of Thoubal River :: Gallery
  • Pukpha Fest @Tamenglong :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at UN, NYC : 1 Aug
  • Free Computer Course by KEN @ Imphal
  • Where is the justice in mob justice
  • Ishu : Feature Film in Assamese :: Review
  • Flood: State efforts are too little too late
  • Crisis within NPF unfortunate : KG Kenye
  • decision-making body of NPF resolve: 2 Aug
  • NPF Legislature Party Statement : 2 Aug
  • ..honoring martyrs by raising Tri-colour
  • ..strong Opposition: Cong MLA striving hard
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #3
  • Khongjom War Memorial #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Oops! They've Done It Again!
  • Photography: Career through lenses
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Chemical Ecology: Info for college/Univs
  • Jobs - Nursing Aides in Singapore
  • NPF responds to MLAs' demand
  • Manipur protests detention of trucks
  • Overlooking one's own Cabinet decision
  • Potential of our state
  • Drinking joints in a dry State : Liquor tragedy
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #2:: Gallery
  • Meetei bears more tribal characters ...
  • The slumbering Beauty :: Poem
  • Selected to Global Shapers Imphal Hub
  • NPF Legislature Party Meeting on 31st July
  • Indo Myanmar Post Level Meeting at Onzia
  • Notice: Employment Exchange Imphal East
  • The unintended windfall
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #2:: Gallery
  • Hepatitis C is upto 95 pc curable
  • Sit-in-Demand : ST Demand Committee
  • NE lured into life of modern day slavery
  • Public Behavior; Hard Nut for New Rulers
  • Have you seen the Cacti :: Poem
  • NPF suspend and dissolves
  • Police na maheiroi singda kahenba..
  • PM likely to visit Manipur next month
  • Fishing community..sustainable livelihood
  • In the news... CCpur at the epicentre
  • Mr Maipak Body Building #1:: Gallery
  • Manung Kangjeibung, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • My visit to Shri Lanka #4
  • 4 years is a long time in politics
  • North East imbroglio fleeting opportunity
  • Aviation Network between NE & BCLMV
  • Press Park to come up soon in Manipur
  • India-Myanmar rail project yet to be ..
  • AFSPA in the House
  • 1st Mao Market day @Nagamapal:: Gallery
  • Sentence Particles in Manipuri Language
  • ILP : Students protest [27 July] :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon #2 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #3 :: 360 °
  • Nomination for State Journalist Awards
  • Loktak Lake & Manipur in ecological disaster
  • Modi: Man who oils digital India :: Poem
  • Recruitment at IP Infotech, Waheng Leikai
  • ..after 20 years: No justice in 'mob justice'
  • Good governance perspectives
  • Rare historical stone inscription #1
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #1:: Gallery
  • Huidrom Kirankr- Fellowhsip for Thang-Ta
  • Noises of the Silence #2
  • RIST popular talk 30- Electronic structure
  • Nutrition & dietetics as career options
  • In the Good Old Days :: Poem
  • NPF Presidential Address : 25th July 2017
  • Bid to find haven for ponies
  • Mao Market in Imphal! More than trading
  • Assembly reveals activities of past govt
  • Ethoi Oinam (Actress) #2 :: eRang Photos
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #2 :: 360 ° View
  • To the Mosquito :: Poem
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #1:: Gallery
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #3:: Gallery
  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • NH-102 (Maram road) landslide :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #2 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • SPONSORED ADS