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Udaipur’s Smart City proposal draft draws flak

Udaipur : Initial round of discussions and comments received on the draft Smart City Proposal document has come as a bit disappointment for the administration. Experts shrugged off the document claiming it not an outcome of systematic and detailed study but rather a cut-copy-pasted material from the internet. Assumed data mentioned in the draft in particular has drawn flak from experts who claim that when real time data had been available, assumptions should not have found place. Displeasure was also expressed on ignoring vital issues of sanitation and drinking water supply. Recommendation for high end equipments for monitoring water quality in lakes too have been condemned on the grounds that common method of visual monitoring is popular worldwide where shoreline could be followed and open defecation, sewage and drainage lines checked from falling into the lakes. Experts also disapproved the suggestion of 24×7 water supply in the city instead stressed on the need of daily water supply for stipulated time.

“ In the section under Pan city Smart Solid Waste Management, instead of real time data, the authorities have made assumptions which would not give correct results. Total waste assumed in the draft has been 200 MT whereas the actual waste is 231 MT per annum. Similarly industrial waste is around 45 to 65 MT and not 30 MT as mentioned in the draft” asserted Mahesh Sharma, member of the development committee. Experts believe the proposal draft to be superficial and missing the real issues reeling the city. “ Present sewerage system covers only 13 wards out of 55 wards. There are only 3600 sewerage connections of 88857 households. We need 832 km sewerage lines, in which 583 km lines are in municipal area and 249 km outside the municipal area, for which we need Rs.1126 crores” Sharma said.

Along with sewerage lines, Rs.206 crore is required for storm water management as 90% of black water directly flows in to sewerage system through drainage lines and merges in the lakes. Total sewage merges daily in Pichola lake comes out about 36.39 MLD ,which is our main source of drinking water and the PHED is supplying only 14 MLD out of this for drinking purposes, TejShankar Paliwal, another activist claimed. Present sanitation level of Udaipur, categorised by Ministry of Urban Development is in Red category at 416th position. The city is on the brink of public health and environmental emergency and needs immediate remedial action. As a matter of fact we are drinking the water which comes out of our houses, and without complete sewerage system we cannot claim our self to be smart. Hence we should give top priority to sewerage system for the entire city for Pen city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city, Sharma said.

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