Smart Cities Mission: Kanpur remains a mixed bag
Six years have seen several changes in Kanpur. But many of the schemes remain in various stages of completion
Dr Raj Tilak, a physician, unhesitatingly offers Kanpur Smart City three marks out of 10. His grouses are many. The city is still struggling with mosquitoes, pigs and flies, he says, besides garbage being burnt in the open.
Metro Rail and electric buses, residents however agree, have provided some welcome relief. Rome was not built in a day, says Sanjay Swarnakar, who teaches English in the Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University and gives Kanpur smart city six marks out of 10.
Others concede that 50 electric buses have made commuting easier but point to the high number of road accidents. Social activist Gyan Tiwary cribs that the Metro Rail has benefitted barely two-three percent of the population.
Six years have seen several changes in Kanpur. But many of the schemes remain in various stages of completion. The Command and Control System Building being built by Tech Mahindra should have been ready by 2019. It is yet to be handed over.
Half the CCTV cameras installed are no longer functional. The indoor sports complex and beautification of Nanarao Park has been going on for the past six years.
Mahesh Agrawal, a readymade garment trader at Phoolbagh, says that footpaths freed of encroachment by fruit and vegetable vendors have again been encroached upon. At 52 different places in the city, smart parking lots too have encroached upon pavements.
A lotus shaped convention centre at Bunniganj is also under construction. But there has been little improvement in water and electricity supply.
(This article was first published in National Herald on Sunday.)