VIJAYAWADA: Vijayawada has achieved a 4-star rating in the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework among the top nine Indian cities during the ‘Smart Cities Smart Urbanisation’ event being held at Surat in Gujarat. Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) Commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar and Mayor Rayana Bhagya Lakshmi received the award at Surat on Tuesday.
The event mainly focused on five sub-themes: Reimagining Public Spaces, Digital Governance, Climate Smart Cities, Innovation and Smart Finance. The purpose is to disseminate learnings from the smart cities to other cities and towns of the country. Apart from that, the event emphasised on how cities can embed climate resilience within urban planning and governance and maximise the resilience co-benefits by mainstreaming it within their ongoing urban development activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhagya Lakshmi said that even though Vijayawada is not a part of the Smart Cities Mission, the city has achieved 4-star rating in Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework and the city has taken up various initiatives under climate actions such as Clean Andhra Pradesh (CLAP) Mission.
The initiatives include installation of solar panels on existing government and school building to increase renewable energy production, 250 CNG autos with geo-tagging for day-to-day collection of solid waste, proposed for rejuvenation and conservation of water bodies like Payakapuram and three canals passing through the city under the 15th Finance Commission Grants, implementation of actions mentioned in the Water Resource Management Plan (City Water Balance Plan and City Water Action Plan) under AMRUT 2.0, she said.
Swapnil said that Vijayawada being one of the most densely populated cities, it also has many barriers such as railway lines, three major canals crossing the city which leaves bare minimum developable space. Over the past few years, the city has taken up many initiatives for increasing green belt, by removing encroachments along the Krishna bank, development of green belts along the unused space of railway lines and canals.
Few more initiatives have been taken to move towards a sustainable city following sustainable development goals, the VMC has converted the existing conventional street lights with LED lights by retrofitting methods and reduced 50 per cent of power consumption.
“Vijayawada is the only city in the entire State to start waste collection from door-to-door using CNG vehicles. We have a bio-mechanisation plant based on the energy produced by 20 MLD STP functions. We are quite an efficient city when it comes to energy conservation and usage,” Swapnil said. The Municipal Commissioner further said that steps are also being taken to install continuous air quality monitoring stations to capture PM10, PM2.5, NOx and SOx in the city limits with a project cost of Rs 6 crore.