Smart City proposal: Namchi, Government of Sikkim

Internship experience of working on 'Smart cities proposal' at Urban Development and Housing Department, Namchi, Government of Sikkim

Duration: 9 Weeks Tools used:Human resource
Smart CitiesDataArtPython
Introduction

Namchi is a beautiful city located in the south of Sikkim with lush green mountains and clean cityscape. Resting on the foot hills of himalayas, during monsoons clouds can be seen gushing through spaces and bulit spaces everyday. The city is culturally rich and diverse with multiple religious hostspots situated closeby.

Glimpse of Namchi city

Home to both Buddhist and hindu tourist sites,Namchi a city has show tremendous growth in population . Although being the second biggest city of the state, its has comparatively less tourists coming to the city. It has somehow helped the locals to cherish the resources available and not over saturate itself with high influx of tourists.

Buddist and Hindu religious hotspots.

New developmental projects(Football stadium, ropeway, hotels) can be seen under development across the city.

Various under construction projects across the city

Internship:

As part of the prestigious ‘Smart city challenge’ hosted by the ‘Union Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India’ . The ministry used a competition-based method as a means for selecting cities for funding on an area-based development strategy. The proposed 100 smart cities were required to compete using ‘Smart City Proposal (SCP)’ . Cities competed at the state level with other cities within the state. Then the state-level winner competed at the national level Smart City Challenge. Cities obtaining the highest marks in a particular round were chosen to be part of the mission.

As part of the internship, our job was to revise the smart city proposal for competing in ‘Round-3’ of ’Smart city challenge’. The team consisted a mix of interns from Urban-planning and Architecture departments headed by Nodal Officer (Smart Cities Mission), Sikkim.

The proposed 100 smart cities were required to compete using ‘Smart City Proposal (SCP)’ inorder to get access to fastrack development funds

Few pages from the proposal

Link(from the official site) for the proposal, pg(16-33) has contributions of my work . Same proposal, compressed and loads faster here

Eventually, the proposal made it to the list of final selection for ‘Round-3’ of ‘Smart city Development’ under fastrack process.

We spent our entire summer(during the intership) exploring the vicinity and people around it. We also went to trails around parts, paths, and other tourist attractions(samdruptse) around. It was relatively less crowded and peaceful compared to other hill stations across the Himalayas. Following are few glimpses

Time was fun

Learnings and Experiences
  1. The definition of development differs with context and geographies
  2. An average citizen can still enjoy life without having good internet and a movie theatre at their city (This was Pre-4G, 2016)
  3. Lot of challenges with bureaucracy while working in a government organisation
  4. Tourism boosts economy but also brings garbage and noise.
  5. Plazas are integral to the urban fabric, There are safe places for human interaction to take place, especially in city centers if they are prioritised instead of roads
  6. Potatoes are eaten everywhere
  7. You don't have to clean streets everyday, if you dont litter in the first place
  8. Political leaders are hugely respected, CM Pawan Chamlings portraits and calendars can be seen everywhere from hotels to homes.
  9. It is quite possible to have two different religious hotspots in one city
  10. Clean roads everywhere, dustbins can be seen installed infront of houses(not all)
  11. At Namchi, Public transport = Taxi (Mahindra maxx & Alto), Taxi stand instead of Bus Stand
  12. One always has to get a seat number reserved a day prior, if they wish to step outside the city. In return every ticket has a seat number assigned for that taxi .
  13. Not all government officers are laid back(vice versa)
  14. Interns are more efficient and productive(sometimes better than fulltime), if they have an hardworking and efficient manager.
  15. At Namchi, It takes forever to dry clothes in monsoon(use an iron press instead)