There are some speeches that move the world, and there are those speeches that talk about one land and its clear cut path towards progress. CM N Chandrababu Naidu took the opportunity to showcase and ‘sell’ the best of Andhra Pradesh to the world, with his impressive speech called ‘Preparing for the City Century’
The title may or may not tell the whole story, but the CM managed to wind up the entirety of AP’s potential in today’s world, against all odds.
Snippets from Chief Minister’s speech at the session titled ‘Preparing for the City Century’.
SMART GOVERNANCE AT CITY LEVEL:
We firmly believe that no modern city can provide a good quality of life without the extensive use of technology to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Andhra Pradesh the leading state in applying technology to improve quality of life of citizens.
1. CORE Dashboard – We have implemented CORE, an IoT powered dashboard to monitor KPIs of to achieve the goal of effective governance. CORE focuses on providing granular actionable data, for ex from CORE, I can monitor the health of street lights in multiple cities across the state. Not only that, this data is available to the public on the internet making for a transparent government.
2. AP Fibernet – Andhra Pradesh is creating a state-wide fiber grid called AP Fibernet that will be provide 15Mbps connectivity and 250 TV channels to each and every one of the 13Million households in the state at $2 per month. Additionally, all businesses will have access to 100Mbps1Gbps of bandwidth. This will provide government with a direct link to every household for video conferencing, and disseminating data about all government programs.
3. E-Pragati – We are actively moving all citizen-government interactions to an open online platform called e-Pragati. It provides access to 745 government services at one place. Over 1.01 Billion transactions took place on this platform in 2015-16. 100% of urban services, including complex services like building permitsm and 100% of tax
payments in Andhra Pradesh are now done online. Soon, with GIS integration, we will be rolling out a spatial decision support system with 40+ layers of data to take inform decisions of the Government.
4. E-PDS – We have implemented a unique Public Distribution System for driven by India’s unique universal identification system (Aadhar). Using biometric enabled PoS systems we have seeded Aadhar numbers in PDS accounts. Because of this,
a. All the material to be distributed reaches the shops by 31st of the previous month o Entire distribution is completed within 10 days as opposed to 30 days earlier.
b. It also allows us to get real time information on the stock levels at the PDS shops across the state at any point of time.
c. Finally, this has reduced false transactions, pilferage and resulted in savings of USD 10 million in 13 months.
SMART Cities – AP envisions developing three smart cities (Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Tirupati) with assistance from the government of India and the state plans to develop 13 more smart cities in the state. Projects worth USD 500Million are prepared for Kakinada and Visakhapatnam.
Urban poverty alleviation – AP is moving towards a program of sustainable poverty alleviation by empowering Self Help Groups. We provide linkages between self help groups and banks, enabling them to access capital for their livelihood programs. The results of this program have been phenomenal for society as well as the banks. Over 10 Lakh self help groups have taken advantage of this program and banks have witnesses recovery rates greater than 95%.
Cyber security – We are the only state in India to have an IoT policy and are soon going to complement that with a Cybersecurity and GIS policy. Our cybersecurity initiatives are focused on improving the safety of our power grids and to ensure that our real time server based operations (ex: Pensions and PDS through DBT, MeeSeva etc.)
a. We are well on our way to implement cutting edge technologies like blockchain to solve some of the thorniest urban issues like land ownership.
LED Lighting – The Government is also implementing innovative financing plans at smaller levels. We have achieved 40% power savings by transitioning to LED lights on public roads without any expenditure by the Government. Our project partner, who installs and manages these lights recovers his cost by getting a proportion of the savings from the government.
URBAN DESIGN AND PLANNING
Urban design and planning is probably one of the key areas that is missing from most of India’s megacities. Learning from the experiences of the past, AP is laying a special emphasis on creating a long-term vision for its urban cores, that is in alignment with our overall Vision 2029.
PEMANDU – One of the focus areas of my government is to ensure that our policies do not remain only on paper. To ensure this, we have become the first state to start a Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) whose sole job is to oversee the implementation, asses the progress, facilitate as well as support the delivery and drive the progress of the Government’s programs.
One of the 4 PEMANDU programs is Urban Development. The Urban Development lab is divided into five work Streams-Housing, Roads, Urban Public Transport, Water & Sanitation, Solid Waste Management.
Saturation Policy – We have also identified 20 nonnegotiable services to be provided in all the wards of urban areas. The focus is on housing for all with basic services, including potable water for all, 0% power cuts, access to skill development, solid and liquid management system, financial inclusion, internet, tele-connectivity and grievance redressal system. Without calling it so, we are effectively making this 20 services into near-rights, that our citizens can expect from the government.
Smart waste management – Smart waste management is the key to making our cities livable and sustainable. We have adopted global best practices like mandatory waste sorting at source, zero discharge waste treatment plants and waste to energy conversion technologies. 10 solid waste to energy plants are being developed across the state. Built at an investment of $110Million, these plants will generate 64 MW of power that will be provided to the state grid.
Open Defecation Free – Reducing open defecation, is an important goal for the Government of India and Andhra Pradesh has addressed this issue on a war footing, becoming India’s first Open Defecation Free state.
Urban Housing – Planned urban housing that caters to the people in the lower socio economic strata is a key area of focus for us. We are constructing 1Million affordable houses by 2022. Our urban housing policy also focuses on the ‘walk to work concept’. We are committed to creating houses closer to the areas of work thereby reducing pollution and improving the quality of life.
Drinking water for all – Providing clean, potable, water to urban communities is going to be a major challenge for us. We expect our water needs to rise by 50% to 42 billion cubic meters. To address this, we are implementing a smart water grid that interlinks our existing rivers and linking major and minor in-land water bodies, tanks etc.
Amaravati as a Green and Blue city – In line with our goal of making all cities in Andhra Pradesh liveable and sustainable, we have taken the aim of making the capital city a green and blue city where more than 20% area has green cover and water bodies in the urban plan. Only nonpolluting green and orange category industries will be allowed within the capital city limits. • Green space development – To provide impetus and focused execution to the creation of green spaces in AP, the government has created the AP Urban Greening and Beautification Corporation to develop all possible urban lands to achieve a goal of 15% greenery by 2020.
Economic cities – Even outside the big cities, the government it pursuing its urbanization agenda by setting up Economic Cities on a PPP basis. Under this program, the states’s economic authority will approve plans for a new city within 21 days under a single window system.
FINANCING OUR CITIES
Finance is the silent grease that keeps the wheels of our urbanization project turning. Appropriate, adequate, innovative and on-time finance is critical for us to achieve our urbanization goals. I am proud to say that Andhra Pradesh has solved many of the problems associated with its huge financing requirements through innovative solutions.
Land pooling in Amaravati – The Government is financing the construction of the capital city of Amaravati through a very innovative land pooling mechanism. Prior to this land acquisition for any project was a transactional activity between the government and the landholder. The novel Land Pooling scheme adopted by Amaravati is the largest and most successful experiment in India; where 33,000 acres was pooled from farmers in return for stake in the new city. At this stage, the master plan prepared for the capital region spanning across two districts and more than 90% of the CRDA region is under possession of the government.
From the financing perspective it is important to note that this has helped the Capital Region Development Authority to channel the funds for development of infrastructure rather than land acquisition Andhra Pradesh is looking to invest heavily in infrastructure. Some of the projects are:
186 Kms of Eight lane Outer Ring Road around Amravati with service roads to be developed in 5.49 lakh acres
67.5 kms of Inner Ring Road with Greenfield alignment to be developed o 98kms of Satellite Township around ring roads to be developed
6 new ports
6 new airports
Urban Infrastructure Fund –
We realize that it is not availability of funds that is a hurdle, rather it is our project readiness which is determines the success of our projects. For urban projects we have established a joint venture company called Andhra Pradesh Urban Infrastructure Asset Management Limited (APUIAML) with a private organization (IL&FS Group).
The new company will be an asset management urban fund which will assist urban local bodies (ULBs) in preparing infrastructure projects on commercially viable models.
The company will mobilize long-term funds for urban development in the State through capital markets, commercial banks and financial institutions, private sector arms of multilateral and bilateral financial institutions etc. This agency will not only help in funding select projects but also in creating a bouquet of projects which are ready to be funded by any agency.