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The Himachal Pradesh Chief Secretary V.C. Pharka said that Smart City was a part of smart Governance and smart Governance complimented Smart Cities. He was presiding over the inaugural session of two days workshop on ‘Smart City-2017’ organized under the umbrella of German House for Research and Innovation New Delhi and prominent Institutions from India and Germany, in Shimla today. The Chief Secretary said that a city developed as smart city from the very beginning might continue to be a smart city, if necessary tools were used to update and improve the citizen centric services. Thus the challenge before smart governance was to ensure that the smart remained smart, the newer ones developed only as smart ones and those lagging behind were also made smart, he added.
Mr. Pharka said that Himachal Pradesh had been ranked as first State among the small states for best Governance in a recent survey based on Public Affairs Index. It was a story of sustained development despite constraints of climate, topography, low returns from a sparse scattered population and low revenue base, he added. He said development often leads to migration from rural to urban areas. The challenge lies in providing better living conditions to the city population which apart from its natural growth has also to cater to the migrating population. Unless ICT tools were used, it was not possible to provide better living conditions to the people. Therefore, emphasis has to be on the use of latest technology in governance, planning and development of cities.
Chief Secretary said that Smart Governance was the application of ICT tools and Administrative Initiatives for bringing about effective citizen delivery and efficiency in the internal organization of Government functioning. It would involve multi level dialogue across all stakeholders, transparency, accountability, capacity building, skill development and up gradation of skills. V.C. Pharka said that online services of maps for approval of construction, online payment of electricity, water bills, property tax in Shimla Municipal area, online booking of bus tickets and tourism hotels, issue of birth and death certificate, updation and issuance of land record data etc. were some of the initiatives which had already been taken in the State.