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Enhancing Citizen Participation in Decision-Making to become Karnal as Smart City

23 Oct 2015

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Transparency, a concept we have discussed a lot in the Open Government Initiative, is a means to an end.  One of the important roles that transparency plays is to facilitate public participation in government decision-making.  As our Prime minister Shri.NarendraModihas said: ” Let us join this mass movement towards SURAJYA, Realizes the hopes and aspirations of the people and take India to greater heights”
Our commitment to openness means more than simply informing the people of Karnal about how decisions are made. It means recognizing that government does not have all the answers and that public official need to draw on what citizens know. ” 

Dr. J Ganesan, Deputy Commissioner Karnal shares his knowledge of Citizen Participations to help Karnal become Smart City and tomake itbetter, cleaner and healthier with Mrs. SumedhaKataria, Municipal Commissioner with “MeraSujhav and Mera Sankalp” initiative,so the government makes more informed and effective decisions.

Citizen Participation began on  11th october with a fast moving Launch of event chaired by Shri Manohar Lal Khattar Chief Minister ofHaryana at Karnal Secretariat“ SabseyAage Karnal “citizen participation on smart city”to explore the challenges and the benefits of putting people at the centre of the “Smart City“work.

The programalso includes various events to participate citizens:

  1. MeraSujhav – This activity shall invite suggestions from citizens on how they feel Karnal could be transformed into a smart city.
  2. MeraSankalp – This activity shall motivate citizens to pledge their support towards making Karnal a smart city.
  3. Mere Sapnoka Karnal – This activity shall give citizens a chance to aspire of a dream city and share their thoughts with everyone with events like essay competition for students and school children.
  4. Run for Karnal – This activity is a marathon like event that shall see mass participation from the citizens of Karnal. It shall serve as an opportunity to celebrate the success achieved in the smart city journey so far and motivate each other for continued support.
  5. Karnal Samvad – This activity shall allow the administration and citizens engage in meaningful discussions related to smart city.
  6. Competitions – This shall include competitions such as an Essay-writing competition to elicit ideas and suggestions from citizens.
  7. Selfie with Karnal – This activity shall encourage people to click “selfies” at prominent places in Karnal to commemorate the love citizens have for their city
  8. Mann kiBaatein – This shall be a radio event where citizens could directly interact with keys officials from the administration and discuss various topics pertaining to the smart city mission.

Also Various NGO, Govt Department, Corporate Houses, Industrial Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Schools and Institutional bodies are supporting this program.

Citizen Participation –Activity I-MeraSujhav ,MeraSankalp

The Brainstorm phase of our open government outreach yielded a number of suggestions about how to enhance citizen participation in decision-making. More than 17 NGO’s were actively involved for this smart city campaign received more than 12,383 suggestions/sujhav and16,689 pledges /sankalp. The NGO Swyamsidha society which performed extraordinarily by collecting maximum number of suggestions and were rewarded Rs 10,000 as a token of gratitude from KMC.

The top 2 NGO’sare-

  1. Swyamsidha society –Collected 3178 sujhav and 2540 signatures/sankalp
  2. Doon public school and prayas foundation- Collected 1500 sujhav and 3135 signatures/sankalp.

People of this city were seen very enthusiastic to pen down their views and suggestions under the initiation of MERA SUJHAV and pledged with their signatures under MERA SANKALP to take their responsibility for development of KARNAL AS SMART CITY in return of the government’s promise to gift them the best of the facilities and services
Some suggestions focused on traffic management to improve opportunities for public review. Others emphasized the need to 24 X7 Water & Electric Supply, incorporate diverse voices and information into the participation process and to keep participants informed about how their participation impacted outcomes at the end of the process.

Dr. J Ganesanaddressed the volunteers of various NGO’s in the morning about the two initiatives MeraSankalp/MeraSujhav and directed them to distribute themselves into team of 30-40 members respectively and cover the households, shops, residents of 20 different wards.

The enthusiasm of the people for the activities such as MERA SANKALP and MERA SUJHAV was just amazing and they were very eager to understand the ideas about smart city and were very willingly ready to hear the positive changes it will bring for the betterment of the city in terms of cleanliness, segregation of waste, infrastructure and services, boost in the employment and economic sector, public transportation ,recreational open spaces and making their neighborhoods safer and better places to live in, with the ultimate goal of improvising their QUALITY OF LIFE.

Few points which theresidents of karnal pledged with their signature on MERA SANKALP are–

  • Judicious use of water
  • Using the electricity wisely
  • Not loitering of garbage in the neighborhoods
  • Segregation of organic and non-organic waste
  • Taking care of the females, children and elder people
  • Protecting the environment
  • Encourage the use of cycles and e-rickshaws
  • The citizens of karnal are ready to pay more for development of karnal as smart city.

Brainstorming sessions, and other types of forums, composed of average citizens, to debate on important issues and make formal recommendations. This is just a brief snapshot of the proposals; you can find a longer list of suggestions here

How citizens can participate

Building on the ideas generated during the Brainstorming sessions with Experts, Media House, Consultant, City Officials, we’d like to ask for your input on Vision Statementand few specific topics:

  1. Retrofitting of Existing Area: What are the pros and cons of the ideas proposed for Karnal as Smart City? 
    Help us to flesh out specifics and weigh the costs and benefits of each approach.  Are there important ideas for enhancing citizen participation in government decision-making that you think are missing?
  2. Identifying best practices: Do you know of best practices forRedevelopment of Slums and Old City under Smart city program through public participation currently in place in governments (perhaps a local government in your community) or other large institutions that we have not yet identified?
  3. Green Field Development: What can government do to remove barriers and create opportunities for Green Field Development? 

Looking Ahead

This is the first posts in few days of participation. Starting tomorrow, we’ll be talking more specifically about participation as it relates to Essay Competition, Comments addressing those specific issues will fit best within the contexts of those future discussions.

As our CM has said: “The way to solve the problems of our time, as SabseyAageKarnal , is by involving the Karnal people in shaping the “Vision” that affect their lives.” Tell us your thoughts over at the
Thanks in advance.

The Participatory NGO’s for the smart city campaign MERA SANKALP/MERA SUJHAV-

  1. Basantvihar welfare association
  2. Sukhan Market welfare association
  3. Agarwal Sabha
  4. MD BalBhawan /JanhitLakshya
  5. Karnal club and paryavaranSanskaranSamiti,Karnal
  6. Tagore BalNiketan
  7. ApnaVicharManch
  8. Bharat vikasParishad/Delight Society
  9. Swyamsidha Society
  10. CGC
  11. PartimaRakshanSammanSamiti
  12. Vyaparmandal
  13. Arpana Trust
  14. Shiv mandirvikasSabha,NewAggarasain colony
  15. Bharat VikasPArishad (AbhimanyuShhakha)
  16. Doon Public School and Prayas foundation

Total Comments - 3

Leave a Reply

  • Kafeel jaleel - 2 years ago

    My school

  • Saikat Mukherjee_1 - 2 years ago

    Great initiative by Govt. of India. It’s great opportunity for citizen of India, we must participate to make Smart City smart.

  • Pawan Singh_10 - 2 years ago

    Grateful to Indian Govt.that he introduced the most vital scheme of smart city developments, we must as responsible citizens of India should be contribute as its own capacity to make movements and to be appeared into the shape of New plannings concept and by facing the challenges from our old urban plannings draw back. so this is great opportunity to actively take part in this smart city developmental process.As an Environmentalist I could provide my skilled knowledge to development micro plan.