A former Earth Sciences Ministry secretary today said while the Smart City project focuses on “infrastructure and development plans”, it gives lesser attention to impacts of climate change and natural calamities. The Ministry’s ex-secretary Shailesh Nayak said that at a time when earthquakes happen frequently and temperatures are reaching extremes, the policy should talk more comprehensively about the ways in which it would handle natural calamity. He said the “policy focuses much on infrastructure and development plans” whereas impacts of natural hazards, climate change and ways to handle them get lesser attention.
Nayak, also a scientist, suggested “global knowledge about technology, quick response mechanisms and reduced inequalities in society” as solutions to achieve environmental sustainability. “Global-level knowledge on working of biosphere, oceans, land surface, atmosphere and interactions between them are of utmost importance,” Nayak explained.
Achieving sustainability would be difficult if there exists a lot of inequalities in society even if there is knowledge and quick response mechanisms from the government side, he said. “So all three are interdependent,” he said.
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Speaking on the occasion K Venugopala Rao of National Remote Sensing Centre of ISRO said, “Geographic Information System(GIS) is the base for Smart City policy. The technology would increase efficiency in planning and other aspects by 50 to 60 per cent. It also brings transparency in government irrespective of departments.”
The two-day conference would have various sessions on themes such as Urban Climate Physics, Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation, Data Analytics.