Mangaluru: The district administration in association with the Mangaluru City Corporation held a public interaction on Smart City at the Mini Vidhana Soudhapremises here, on October 4.
The commissioner of MCC, H N Gopalakrishna welcomed the gathering.
MLA J R Lobo in his address said that in Karnataka, Mangaluru is one out of 6 cities selected in the smart city list. “We have completed the 1st stage by making it into list of 100 cities, we are now in the second stage and have to make it in list of 20 cities. There is a history to Mangaluru and there are strong points. There is a sea port, international airport, educational institutions, fisheries, ample of opportunities for tourism and banks.Mangaluru is the centre for education, there is an opportunity to make Mangaluru an information centre. Out of the 6 cities selected in the state, Mangaluru is the only one city which has all the facilities. Mangaluru has been selected scientifically in the list of smart cities.”
He further said that if there was influence or pressure, Bengaluru and Mysuru would be in the smart city list. “We have to be proud that Mangaluru has been selected to be a smart city.” He remembered Srinivas Mallya and the elected members, officials and the people of the city who had contributed to the development of the city. “Smart city does not mean spending the funds which come from the state and Union governments, we need to utilize the funds wisely for the total development of the city. The catalyst amount should be utilized for the total development of the city and should be converted to Rs 1000 crores. Smart city means that the catalyst amount should be invested in port connectivity, fisheries, tourism, health sector, industries and education. We need to make the life of the citizens easy by digitizing the system. We have to think high to develop the city and invite investors to Mangaluru. We will have to prepare a report in this regard and send it to the Union government by December 15. The report will be analysed by the technical department in Delhi and experts from USA will study the report independently. Based on the report, Mangaluru will be selected in the list. It is in the hands of the people of Mangaluru to make Mangaluru a smart city. Mangaloreans have been serving at the national and international levels and Mangaluru has all the qualities to be a smart city.”
MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said that it is the dream of Prime Minister Modi to make 100 smart cities. “After seeing foreign cities, the guidelines have been released. Bengaluru and Mysuru have received huge funds under JNNURM from the Union government and that is why these two cities were not selected for smart cities. In Karnataka, 6 cities have been selected and Mangaluru is one among them. Mangaluru, is in 11th place in cleanliness, and in fourth place in economy. We need to utilize the funds with transparency. We need to work hard to bring Mangaluru within the first 20 cities. In Mangaluru, we have a port, industries and is a education hub. When we think of being a smart city, we should also think of retaining our culture and traditions along with development. All the elected members should join hands to make Mangaluru a smart city.” He also thanked all the people who thought to make Mangaluru a smart city. While concluding, Nalin said that while working on making Mangaluru a smart city, we need to be transparent in our work specially while utilizing the funds. Our tradition and culture should be retained.
Deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim said that the discussion on smart city should be constructive and not just criticism. “All the feedback will be recorded. We will have discussions next week.” DC also said only 450 people have sent their feedback. “We have a population of 6 lakh in the city and anly a few of them are responding with their suggestions and feedback. This discussion should not be limited to MCC but should include participation from the people of the city. We will have discussions with the health department and later with the education department.”
Vice president of IITC Dilip Kumar briefed on the smart city project. Padmanabh Ullal suggested that the waste should be transported in closed vehicles.
Social activist Kamala Gowda said that when DK has been called as a city of intellectuals, we need to create jobs for the youth. “There are a number of thefts and dacoity cases in the city. If we create jobs, we can prevent thefts in the city.”
Sushil Noronha said that there are a number of educational institutions. “We need to upgrade upgrade them to international level. Tourism should be developed in the Goa model.”
Taranath Bolar said that for a smart city, we need to have 24X7 water and electricity. We need to be clear on the criteria to invest in Mangaluru and how to invest?
P V Mohan questioned, “What will be our position when Mangaluru becomes a smart city. Who will be the investors? What will be the position of the medium and the poor class?”
Former director of Mangaluru Airport Vasudev said that in Mangaluru there are ample of opportunities to develop the airport, railway and educational institutions/medical colleges.
Deputy Mayor Purushotham, Chairman MUDA Ibrahim Kodijal, corporators, MCC officials and others were also present. Manohar Prasad compered the programme.