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A three-day tour of several developmental projects in Surat, the city that has been ranked first in the implementation of Smart Cities Projects for three consecutive years, was organised by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) from April 16-18.

Lauding the Smart City Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said that the implementation of the key developmental projects would benefit the people of the state largely.

As part of the Smart City Mission, Gujarat's Surat is getting a facelift, which is marked by key projects such as GD Goenka Canal Road, ICCC Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC) and DREAM City.

A three-day tour of several developmental projects in Surat, the city that has been ranked first in the implementation of Smart Cities Projects for three consecutive years, was organised by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) from April 16-18.

The delegates, who reviewed several developmental projects, mentioned the governance model in Gujarat is replicable and the country should learn from it.

"Electricity and water are the two things that are in demand in the state. We are switching to renewable energy and are looking forward to sustaining it. Our focus is on the water facility as well because it is important both for the common people and business. Through AMRUT Sarovar as well we are trying to maximise the benefits," said CM Bhupendra Patel.

"Till now 33 per cent of the energy requirements are fulfilled through renewable energy and by of 2029 we are focusing to raise the percentage to 50," he said.

The CM further said that the state is heading towards organic farming.

"We are heading towards organic farming. Soil health is also important which is being degraded due to the use of excessive fertilisers. It will initially yield more but eventually, with the loss of carbon in the soil the production will be reduced," said Patel.

Speaking about the loss of crops due to unseasonal rain, he said, "Opposition parties' agenda is to raise questions on it but here in Gujarat there are no such complaints from the farmers."

The delegates' tour was intended to review the developmental projects and implementation of flagship government schemes in the 'to be smart city', Surat.

The three-day tour revolved around developmental projects such as GD Goenka Canal Road, a 3.5 km long stretch built at a cost of over Rs 54 lakh which will have a gym, playground, and cafeteria, an Integrated Command Control Centre, which will monitor the city; Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City, a new city for the diamantaires with world-class facility; Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), which provided 1 BHK houses to 23,000 families, and Bamroli Tertiary Treatment Plant, a water treatment plant.

The delegates also visited the Surat Diamond Bourse and the Khajod waste dumping site remediation project. The team personally experienced the bicycle-sharing project and went cycling to Dumas.

Rajiv Jain, Additional Director General and spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) told that Surat has successfully accomplished targets under the government's Smart Cities Mission.

Surat Municipal Commissioner Shalini Agarwal shared details of the 78 completed projects worth Rs 2,567 crore under Smart City out of the total 81.

She said that the government is working on the model of development and beautification of Surat.

"We have already beautified the historical fort of Surat under the guidance of the Central government. SMC is conserving the city's historical monuments," she added.

Taking note of the slum population in the city, Shalini Agarwal said there has been a steep decline in people living in shanties.

"Despite the increasing population of the city, SMC has been successful in reducing the slum population. Around 20 years ago, the city's 26 per cent population was living in slums which has now reduced to 6 per cent," Agarwal said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the tour, Surat Municipal Corporation Mayor Hemali Bhogawala told ANI that Surat is not only the fastest-growing and leading smart city but it's also the face of the new and developing India.

"Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is monitoring the city and solving its problems through their ICCC, which is the biggest in the country and was inaugurated by PM Modi," Mayor Bhogawala said, adding that through the command and control centre, SMC can trace and fix the problems of public transport, water, electricity, CCTVs, within 12 hours.

She said that Surat is one of the best cities in India today and the city administration is providing the best facilities and services to the people of Surat.

"If we compare Surat to the Delhi government, the SMC is giving better education and health facilities to the people. Surat is divided into nine civic zones and in every zone, there are hospitals and medical facilities, which are provided by SMC. Apart from it, the schools of SMC are equipped with smart classes," Bhogawala added.

She further said that Surat Municipal Corporation is providing recreational facilities to the people along with a biodiversity park, and all the facilities that are essential for leading a healthy life.

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Quelle/Source: ET Energyworld, 03.05.2023

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