Is Tirupati ready to become a smart city?

August 5, 2014

  • An aerial view of Tirupati.—Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar
    An aerial view of Tirupati.—Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar

It requires realistic planning, robust execution, unflinching political will and uninterrupted flow of funds

The evolution of Tirupati from a Tier-II city into a smart city, as envisaged by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, will require realistic planning, robust execution, unflinching political will, keen persuasion by the State and needless to say uninterrupted flow of funds.

In a nutshell, it takes a lot of efforts for the idea to translate into a reality. Though the project’s contours are still hazy and there is nothing on paper yet, city planners and policy makers are taking little steps in that direction with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s directive to envisage plans for the next 50 years, not 20 years being the guiding light.

District Minister Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy, who is holding the portfolio of Environment and Forests, calls a ‘smart city’ as the one that provides ‘all comforts to all its residents’. “The proposed smart city will offer housing, water supply, sanitation, electricity, state-of-the-art public transport, higher education, civic amenities and other infrastructural facilities to all its residents by using ‘smart’ technology. It will be an enviable place to live in”, the minister told The Hindu.

While Tirupati relies more on travel, tourism and hospitality industries that generate a major chunk of income, Union Minister Shripad Naik laid the stone for the prestigious Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) here on Sunday, which assures a quantum leap on this front. Now, it is all set to become an Information Technology destination, with the Cabinet clearing the proposals for an IT hub, a Centre-sponsored IT Investment Region (ITIR) and also a Tirupati-Anantapur IT corridor.

The ambitious mix of travel, hospitality and IT industries is sure to catapult Tirupati several rungs higher to make it a real ‘smart city’.

With the city having the imposing Tirumala hills on its immediate north, planned expansion has to happen in the other three directions – Renigunta-Karakambadi on the east, Chandragiri on the west and Rayala Cheruvu on the south. The Avilala and Peruru tanks located on the immediate southern and western make planners task all the more difficult as any expansion has to happen without touching these major water bodies.

In fact, when planned for the next 50 years, the outer periphery of Tirupati is likely to extend southwards up to Puttur-Nagari on the Tamil Nadu border, Mannavaram-Yerpedu-Srikalahasti on the north-east, Rangampet on north-west and Pakala to south-west. “Development of satellite townships and industrial hubs will have to be planned in these directions, considering the natural limitations around the city such as hills, water bodies and reserve forests”, says I. Venkateswara Reddy, Vice-Chairman of the Tirupati Urban Development Authority.

(Reporting by A. D. Rangarajan)


Source:The Hindu

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