In the final part of the ‘Know Your Smart City’ web series on the 98 cities that have been shortlisted to be equipped with modern facilities and innovative solutions over time, we look at two cities in Chhattisgarh, and one each in Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand.
Historically connected with a long line of dynasties and empires, Raipur was the second major commercial centre of Madhya Pradesh till Chhattisgarh was carved out of the state. With the river Mahanadi flowing to the east and the Maikal hills rising in the North-west, Raipur has a tropical wet and dry climate. The city falls on the route of five national highways. Traditionally, Raipur’s economy has been based on agricultural processing, steel, cement and alloy, besides poha and Rice. Over the years, it has become an important regional commercial and industrial destination for the coal, power, plywood, steel and aluminium industries.
A major commercial hub in North Chhattisgarh, Bilaspur houses the headquarters of South East Central Railway Zone and South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. Situated on the banks of the rain-fed Arpa river, this dolomite-rich region is surrounded by lush green forests in the north and the coal mines of the Hasdeo valley in the east. Bilaspur is also known for its aromatic Doobraj rice and handloom-woven Kosa silk saris.
The capital of Jharkhand, Ranchi is also called the ‘City of Waterfalls’ because of its numerous waterfalls, including Dassam Falls, Hundru Falls, Jonha Falls, Hirni Falls, and Panchghagh Falls. Ranchi has a humid subtropical climate. It is fast developing into a major commercial and economic centre, with tourism and sports becoming the prime magnet of revenue.
Best known as a tourist destination in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dharamshala is also the seat of the Dalai lama and the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile). Tourism is the mainstay of its economy, and most local businesses thrive on their utility to visitors. Dharamshala also hosts the annual Dharamshala international festival.
The capital of Goa, Panaji lies on the banks of the Mandovi River estuary. With the Salim Ali Bagh Sanctuary, the Dona Paula lake and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, the city offers a host of tourist attractions. Panaji is also known for its carnival celebrations. The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport, 30 km away.
In the Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun is nestled between the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers. It is experiencing a commercial and information technology boom with companies like Genpact, Spice Digital, Serco, IMSI, Spanco, Aptara and IndiaMART establishing their regional offices here. A number of manufacturing units are present in the Selaqui area. The construction of the Delhi-Dehradun four-lane highway is expected to enable more economic development.