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The total project cost has been pegged at ₹526.61 crore

Kavaratti, the administrative capital of the Lakshadweep group of islands, is set for a major transformation in infrastructure and services that is expected to make it a more liveable city for the residents and tourists.

The island with a population of 11,221, is gearing up to implement a slew of projects under the Smart City Mission.

Kavaratti made it to the list of smart cities in the fourth round of the National Smart Cities Challenge conducted by the Union Ministry of Urban Development.

The Smart City proposal prepared by the Centre for Environment and Development, Thiruvananthapuram seeks to make Kavaratti an environment-friendly, Zero Carbon and climate resilient island city. The total project cost has been pegged at ₹526.61 crore.

Health care

Given that the residents on the island have to evacuated to the mainland for treatment of most serious ailments, the first priority has been accorded for the development of health care infrastructure.

The project report has proposed the establishment of a multi-speciality hospital with a cardiac care centre, dialysis unit and cancer care facility. The project report proposes smart health cards for all citizens.

High speed internet connectivity gets the second priority for its potential to introduce e-governance in the administration and improve service delivery to citizens. As many as 10 Wi-Fi hotspots would be set up on the island.

The procurement of an all-weather ship with a passenger capacity of 500 to improve connectivity with the mainland has been identified as another priority. The estimated cost of ₹260 cr is to be shared by the union territory and the Smart City Project.

With the island relying entirely on diesel generators for its power requirement, the report moots the installation of roof top solar panels and solar charging centres to cut the diesel consumption by 50%.

Promoting the use of battery operated vehicles and bicycles is advocated as another option to cut carbon emissions.

A new desalination plant, rainwater harvesting and improvement of water supply and modernisation of the garbage disposal and septage management systems are other major components.

Tourism promotion

The project report stresses the need to improve tourism facilities and equip all the schools on the island with smart classrooms. It also calls for a city beautification scheme.

An integrated and efficient disaster warning and guidance system and introduction of hydroponic cultivation are other thrust areas.

The Smart City project is expected to generate additional revenue of ₹20 cr for the island administration through the renewable energy programme and tourism and the saving on the outflow for the health care, water charges and education sectors.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): T. Nandakumar

Quelle/Source: The Hindu, 28.01.2018

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