While Vijayawada figures in the BJP’s 100 ‘Smart cities’ plan, Congress and TDP also vow to transform the city of victory

The city of victory has made it to the proposed 100 smart cities plan visualised by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. The BJP has promised to develop Vijayawada into a ‘smart city’.

This apart, the party’s urban development plan includes modernisation of river canals in Eluru, Bandar and Ryves for converting them into tourist spots on the lines of Thames and Seine Rivers in London and Paris.

Even the Telugu Desam Party has vowed to transform Vijayawada into a ‘model city’ and the Congress unveiled its ambitious plan of developing each one of the 13 districts of Seemandhra into a Hyderabad.

A ‘smart’ city is described by planners as a city which has its urban competitiveness enhanced by advanced technologies including Information and Communication (ICT) and other means of technology. Political parties seem to be banking on the fact that Vijayawada figures in the list of Global Cities identified by McKinsey and Company with the year 2025 as the growth horizon.

‘Need proper planning’

People wonder how the BJP can take forward its vision in the city with all its infrastructural bottlenecks. But, the city has got what it takes to be a Smart City, according to N. Sridharan, Director of School of Planning and Architecture. “Vijayawada can be transformed into a Smart City over a period of 10 to 15 years provided there is proper planning and execution. There is a need to ensure sustainability while drawing the roadmap,” Mr. Sridharan said.

In fact, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) had begun the ‘surreal tourism’ and ‘white water tourism’ plans as a preliminary exercise.

It was estimated that it would cost Rs. 39 crore for these mini-projects. As part of it, canal bunds would be beautified with replicas of monuments and statues of historical importance. The corporation also had plans to promote canal tourism of different sorts.

More In: Vijayawada