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A meeting was organised by the Samyukta Nagarik Sangathan of Dehradun to discuss conditions prevailing in Doon and the effect of Smart City Projects in the city. Citizens expressed concern at the “ill effects of the Smart City Project” in Dehradun and they felt that the ill- conceived and poorly implemented projects in the name of the smart city are now beginning to hurt the common citizens. They were of the opinion that, when the Smart City Project was launched, the people had expectations that the conditions and the infrastructure of the city would see significant improvements as a result of the project. However, the hopes have been dashed and the people are hugely disappointed with the project. The people are now fed up with the dug up roads and the disorganised city and want to improve the conditions as soon as possible by putting pressure on the leaders and officials.

The meeting was also attended by leaders of BJP and Congress along with representatives of various organisations, dignitaries, social workers and journalists. Most of the speakers said that the way roads are being dug up for the last several years, and the lives of the people of the city are being put in danger, has now become unbearable. In the meeting, along with the poor condition of the Smart City project, the Master Plan 2041 and cutting of trees in the city were also discussed. There was also a discussion on preparing the draft of a ‘Doon Declaration’ on all these issues and making it public on the occasion of State Formation Day.

Anoop Nautiyal, Founder of SDC Foundation, while summarising the findings of the meeting, observed that MDDA did not give enough time to the people to register their objections on the draft of Master Plan-2041. He also raised questions on the possible changes in Doon Valley notification, the rapidly increasing population of the city and the carrying capacity of Dehradun.

Nautiyal said that there is a need to put pressure on the authorities in three steps. One is to make the people aware of the issues and then mobilising the people by forming various committees, taking out Chintan Padyatras and finally also seeking help of the legal process.

Starting the meeting, Jagmohan Mehndiratta said that people’s lives are being put at risk by digging up the entire city. The news about smart city that is published in newspapers is nowhere to be seen on the ground. The traffic system is completely bad and chaotic. Leaders and officials have visited foreign countries many times regarding construction of the Metro but, at the ground level, there is no progress on the project in Dehradun. Municipal Corporator Devendra Pal Singh Monty felt that the decision to make Dehradun a smart city was wrong. A separate smart city should have been built, he added. He also claimed that those in the authority are indulging in arbitrariness in the name of smart city.

Purushottam Bhatt observed that some are worried about Modi, some are worried about Rahul Gandhi but no one is worried about their children. That is why the city is in a poor shape. Former Municipal Corporator Anoop Kapoor expressed concern over the increasing trend of drug addiction among the youth and said that, along with other problems, this has also become a big problem.

Anil Jaggi felt that the city has been ruined in the past 20 years. He expressed the need to form a pressure group to influence the government. Ashish Garg expressed the need for a complete ban on commercial construction in residential areas. Nilesh Rathi felt that the time to discuss only the problems is gone and it is now the time to mull solutions. He highlighted the need to identify bottle necks and build flyovers as well as develop traffic sense among the people.

Amar Singh, Jaipal Singh, Amarjeet Singh Bhatia, Prakash Nangia, Vineet Jain, Gulista Khanam, Colonel Thapa, Awadhesh Sharma, Lt Col JS Gambhir, Pradeep Kukreti, Jitendra Anthwal, Bhupendra Kandari, Manoj Dhyani, TN Johar, Jaya Singh, Brigadier Behl, Virendra Painyuli also expressed their views. Sushil Tyagi of Samyukta Nagarik Sangathan conducted the proceedings.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Arun Pratap Singh

Quelle/Source: Garhwal Post, 03.11.2023

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