- Niranjan Zanzmera, Mayor, Surat Municipal Corporation
The city of Surat has long been known as the diamond polishing hub of the world, but there are other facets that have led the city to shine - including being one of the cleanest cities in the country. Under the aegis of Niranjan Zanzmera, Mayor, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), elected to the office in June 2013, Surat is all set to become a smart city with Microsoft´s CityNext project. Working towards fulfilling his vision on setting a benchmark for other cities in the country on applying IT solutions to help empower citizens and address cities´ biggest challenges to fuel economic growth, Zanzmera shares the various development plans being undertaken in the city, and what makes the city a hotspot for opportunities and growth with CW.
What have been the corporation´s top tips to keep the city clean?
SMC has made a lot of effort in the form of various initiatives in keeping the city clean. The efforts put in by SMC have been recognised at the national and international levels as well. For better cleanliness across the city, its seven zones were further subdivided into over 80 sanitary wards. A typical ward consists of a sanitary inspector, sanitary sub-inspectors and mukadams (supervisors). Micro-level planning has been introduced to ensure equitable distribution of all resources - manpower, machinery and finance - among the wards. Sweepers are posted round-the-clock at nuisance spots, and such locations are invariably cleaned at least twice a day. Public-Private Partnership and outsourcing of various sanitary activities is also initiated to improve waste collection efficiency along with street cleaning. Here are the highlights of the activities:
What efforts has the corporation made to sustain the city´s growth?
The city is witnessing all-round growth. To balance development and spread the population evenly, Surat has the ring road, middle ring road and upcoming outer ring road. SMC is also coming up with an extensive public transport system backed by a bus rapid transport system (BRTS) to connect different parts of the city. The corporation has put in the best of infrastructure and civic practices to improve the life of citizens. As Surat is one of the fastest growing cities of India, SMC needs to play the role of enabler and catalyst to sustain growth and meet the expectations and aspirations of citizens. Successful implementation of the government of India´s flagship programmes like Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Make in India and Smart City will enable Surat to become a smart city.
The corporation also outsources waste to power...
SMC has undertaken various initiatives for the use of renewable energy, which includes solid waste to power and liquid waste to power generation.
Liquid waste to power (biogas power plant): SMC is the first Urban Local Body (ULB) to start a biogas-based power plant (sewage gas to electricity generation); a sewage treatment plant (STP) of 0.5 MW capacity was set up at Anjana in 2003. Three more sewage gas-based power plants each of 1 MW capacity have been set up. With the setting up of these plants, the total energy savings is about 6,326,440 kWh with total annual energy saving till October 2014 of around 4.28 crore units.
Solid waste to power: Solid waste to power project of capacity 1,000 tdp is under execution with a 400 tdp plant already operational. This plant generates compost and fuel pellets. Apart from waste to power, SMC has also taken initiatives to generate power from solar and wind energy.
What are the JNNURM projects under execution.
SMC has undertaken various projects under JNNURM. These encompass various municipal sectors like water supply, sewerage treatment, storm water network, bridges, solid waste management, BRTS, affordable housing (46,856 dwelling units), etc. In all, 39 projects are undertaken under JNNURM.
How about drainage, sewerage and street lighting?
SMC has taken up a number of capital projects focused on providing the best services and infrastructure to citizens. SMC has covered 94 per cent of the population under the piped water network and will cover 100 per cent of the population by the end of 2015. It provides 150 litre per capita per day (lpcd) water adhering to drinking water standard IS 10500:1991, second edition. It has acquired ISO 9001:2008 certification for implementing the quality management system at all waterworks and has implemented the SCADA system at water treatment plants. SMC has prepared the master plan for 24 x 7 water supply with metering to the new area added in the city limit expansion. It has five waterworks (two work in progress) with 1,268 mld capacity, 30 water distribution stations, and over 3,100 km of transmission and distribution system through which 980 mld water is provided to over 16 lakh households.
Further, SMC has taken a lead in the use of renewable energy sources. It has executed projects for generation of electricity from liquid waste, solid waste, solar energy and wind energy. SMC was the first in India to commission a 0.5 MW, liquid waste to power plant in 2003; today, 3.5 MW power is generated from liquid waste. It was also the first ULB to install a 3-MW windmill in 2010; today 17.7 MW of power is generated from wind energy. What´s more, SMC generates 850 kW of power from solar energy and is planning an additional 3.5 MW in FY2015-16. In fact, it plans to meet all its energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2019-20.
Lastly, Surat has many water-based industries. To reduce the diversion of drinking water for industrial purposes, SMC started a 40 mld tertiary treatment plant (the biggest in India by a ULB) in February 2014. The plant recycles wastewater and supplies it for industrial use, thus conserving potable water.
SMC has proposed 47 new bridges of different kinds in its revised budget proposals for 2015-16. Please tell us more.
Surat is situated on the banks of river Tapi. Apart from the river, many creeks also pass through the city. The length of the river passing through the city is over 30 km whereas the total length of all creeks is over 100 km. Considering the development taking place and plans for future development, the bridges over the river and creeks have been proposed in the budget. Apart from them, to improve vehicular movement, SMC has planned the construction of flyover bridges and railway over-bridges.
What are your BRTS plans?
To provide a modern and efficient public transport system, SMC has taken up the BRTS project; a BRTS route of 102 km will be developed under different phases. Part of Phase-I is already operational and the entire 30 km of Phase-I will be operational soon; the BRTS project has a dedicated bus lane. Further, it is supplemented by the development of modern mobility corridors under the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) along five major arteries. BRTS will be supported by an intelligent traffic management system.
What kind of tourism-related initiatives will be undertaken in the near future?
SMC has taken various initiatives in this regard, including the Science Centre consisting of the museum, fun science gallery, diamond gallery, planetarium and 3D theatre; one of the biggest marine aquariums; nature park and zoo; water sports facility; Tapi riverfront development; and over 100 public parks including lake gardens and botanical gardens. Additionally, upcoming projects include an amusement park, heritage square, outdoor stadium, etc.
What is the annual amount budgeted for city development?
For FY2015-16, a provision of Rs 21,800 crore has been made for capital projects. The Centre and state governments contribute by allocation of funds in the form of different grants.
SURAT City Corporation
Municipality: Established in 1852
Corporation: Established in 1966
Area: 326.51 sq km
Population: 4.5 million (2011) Decadal growth rate: 60-80 per cent (for four decades) Administration zones: 7
Ward offices: 88; Civic centres: 18