Arijit Bose / K.P. Singh
Kanpur: Nearly 90 plus km apart, Kanpur and Lucknow have an intertwined fate and each as a twin city has a direct bearing on the other in the broader scheme of things. With Uttar Pradesh emerging as India’s top Investment destination, both the Centre and the state are working towards giving Lucknow and Kanpur the smarter edge.
In a free – wheeling conversation with The Lucknow Tribune, Divisional Commissioner Kanpur, IAS Dr. Raj Shekhar spoke at length about how Kanpur gains post the Global investor Summit which was recently held in the state capital. He also elaborated on how a smarter and more vibrant Kanpur was shaping up in times to come. Speaking about how GIS 2023 is having an impact on Kanpur, he said, “the Kanpur division has performed reasonably well. It is quite encouraging that many Industrialists and entrepreneurs have shown interest in investing post the Global investor Summit. Similarly various districts will also gain from this given Kanpur is one of the most important industrial towns and it is also a very prominent business hub of North India.”
He further elucidated – many of the large government sector undertakings and private industries have been set up here and some are also operating for decades.
He exuded pride as he said – Kanpur is one of the highest investment attractors when it comes to GIS 2023. It is tremendous faith that has led to an overall investment for Kanpur which is pegged at a whopping 82000 crore.
Talking about developing new Kanpur, Dr Raj Shekhar said that it is a very important project of KDA. He said in the recent board meeting, the KDA board has taken the decision to go ahead with working on available land pool and also purchase/ acquire required land for selling. He said the township that comes up will help decongest the city and also help in getting best amenities and facilities for residents in terms of good residential, commercial, community, education and health aspects.
Talking of the recent developments in Green Park Stadium, Dr. Raj Shekhar said the stadium has had a glorious 75 year history, but for some reason there has always been a slight disconnect between cricket lovers and Green Park in terms of showcasing the big picture. To tell the world about the glorious moments and memorable items he said the modern gallery will in many ways remove the disconnect with the joint efforts of U.P. Sports department and the Smart City project which set up a modern gallery with world class facilities. It is armed with a cricket Cafe, audio visual screen, virtual cricket pitch with auto bowling machine, Souvenier room and a multi cuisine restaurant to make the entire project self sustainable by helping in revenue generation.
Speaking of better commuting, Dr. Raj Shekhar said, “ The E – bus facility will make commuting smoother, comfortable and convenient and make transport regular. This initiative will also help increase passengers on Electric buses and reduce vehicular congestion and bring down pollution. Lastly it will give the Metro much needed connect for passengers.”
Speaking on the initiative to set up a CCTV network across the city Dr. Raj Shekhar said the Safe City Project is an initiative being jointly led by the Government of India and Yogi Government. He said the focus in the initial phase is on Lucknow and Kanpur as part of a pilot project with the overall objective to tap available resources for monitoring using public domain IP based CCTVsworking in tandem with the Integrated Command and Control Centre. To help spread the word the plan is to rope in institutions, organisations, associations through PPT presentations in order to better effective monitoring of security.
Proving to be a crowning jewel of the city, he said, “ The modern convention centre is coming up in the Chunni Ganj area which is a flagship project of Kanpur Smart City and the Kanpur Nagar Nigam. With Kanpur being one of the biggest industrial towns, it has always felt the need to have a proper convention centre, which in turn will give trade, commerce, art, culture and tradition a much needed fillip. In the past there have been calls for such a convention centre from industrial houses and public representative. This convention centre is 60% complete and it’s to be opened for the public by the end of this year.”
Talking of Kanpur’s future potential as a water tourism hub, Dr. Raj Shekhar underlined – As an important city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur is blessed with around 180 km stretch of Ganga which is conducive for water sports and recreational activities. KDA aims to make Kanpur a water sports hub. KDA is working closely with the Irrigation Department and has set up the Kanpur boat club under which the Kanpur Boat Club committee is active. Inaugurated by the UP CM Yogi Adityanath on 9th December 2022, it was opened for public from 22nd December, the same year. Kanpur has cemented its image as one of the most attractive tourist destinations. Bithoor to Kanpur has emerged as an important nerve centre for different water sports activities.