Secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Manuel Badwar has said that projects in Meghalaya are implemented for reasons other than to benefit the public.
Shillong is among the 10 worst cities to implement Smart City projects, according to central government data, and Badwar said that this shows that projects here are undertaken for prestige, and perhaps corruption, without understanding the fundamentals of what smart cities are all about and without the leaders to see the long-term aspects.
Implementation of Smart City projects only seems to encompass the renovation of existing drains, erection of some street lights, weeding and putting of signborads to boast of it being a Smart City project.
“I have been to the Smart City convention in other bigger states and [there] it is about everything. It’s about hospitalization, the municipality, how the birth certificates are being issued, census, it is about the education system and numbers of good schools and colleges projected in areas based on population. A smart city also builds infrastructure to match the areas based on the income level of a locality, poverty, the number of dropouts and single mothers, the infant mortality rate and so on and so forth,” he said.
“Do we know the population size that an urban health centre that has been opened is catering to? Here some health centres are non-functional while others are overburdened. Have we thought of the number of schools for a constituency like Malki-Laitumkhrah (his home constituency) with over 30,000 voters and a population of over 45,000, with about 3,000 children who need to join school annually and likewise for other constituencies?”
Badwar said that there is also massive congestion in the city because students from every area come for schooling because of the lack of good schools in their home areas and there is nothing smart about it.