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December 2018

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Next generation must help calligraphy survive digital age: Artists, experts

Seeking to promote calligraphy among school children, Delhi-based Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) organised a two-day workshop for over 100 students from 30 schools. Delhi-based calligrapher Mohammad Zubair says he counts himself among the last few artists in the city who practice the centuries-old art of decorative handwriting in an era in which keystrokes and smartphones are guiding the future. Zubair, 36, who has been practising calligraphy for the past nearly 20 years, admits that the society has to embrace technology to move ahead but asserts "computers will never be able to match the capabilities of calligraphers". "This iconic art form saw its heyday even till 1980, until when computers arrived. Calligraphers were earlier employed by government agencies, civic bodies to design boards and signages, but with technology, our master prints are just taken on a CD and then replicated," he told PTI. "So, the earnings dropped significantly, as artists were being paid just for a one-time project. And, sometimes, clients just download prints from computers and print them. Calligraphy is not being patronised as it should be. Our youth should help this art form survive," Zubair rued. Seeking to promote calligraphy among school children, Delhi-based Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) organised a two-day workshop for over 100 students drawn from 30 schools in Delhi and neighbouring cities, which ended Friday. Zubair, trained in this art from the Delhi Urdu Academy and currently an instructor at a National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) centre in east Delhi, was roped in by INTACH to lead the workshop. According to him, many students did not know about calligraphy and some knew about English one but not those done in Urdu or Arabic. "But, they were so fascinated that many told me that they wish to learn it over and above their regular studies. If youth like them, can understand the value of our precious heritage, calligraphy will thrive, along with technology," he said. At the workshop, students learned to hold the bamboo 'kalam' (wooden pen) and were taught to write Dilli-dur-ast, a famous quote of renowned Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya. Instruction material, along with 'kalam', was also distributed to them after the event. Calligraphy or the art of decorative handwriting in India dates back to the ancient era when Sanskrit manuscripts were being written and ornamentally illustrated, and then in Mughal era, it thrived with the patronage of the rulers, for Urdu, Arabic and Persian calligraphies, with many such old texts now a national treasure. Rajeev Kumar, 50, another Delhi-based calligrapher and an engineer-turned-graphic designer, who writes in 11 scripts including Tamil, Telugu and Gurumukhi (Punjabi), besides English and Hindi, however, feels "calligraphy need not fear technology". "Calligraphy and typography used for font designing in computer can co-exist very harmoniously. For mass production, calligraphy cannot be the right option, we need typographic technology to meet that logistical demand," said Kumar, who has been practising calligraphy for the last 25 years. Both Zubair and Kumar rued that in India, even well-known art and design educational institutions "do not have, even an optional course on calligraphy". "We can't fight technology, and so the only way to take this art to the next generation is through the channel of education. Our students don't know what are they losing, so how will they act on it. Also, once they have mastered the original art, they will do wonders with technology too," Zubair said. NIFT-Patna Director Sanjay Shrivastava emphasised that calligraphy is country's "priceless heritage" and needs to be preserved through practice and other means. Asked, if there was any course at the college on this art form, he said, "Students are exposed to it as part of fashion communications course, but, no there's no dedicated course or elective on it." Brand strategy expert and visiting faculty at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) here, Ramesh Tahiliani, said calligraphy is very much alive in the age of digital era, and having esoteric purposes for its use, allows to "keep its exclusivity". "So, be it special weddings cards or certificates of many institutions or logos of various brands, especially some of the luxury brands, calligraphy finds its place and importance and charming appeal, which it would not have if the scale of production was large," he told PTI. Bahrain-based Asgharali Perfumes, founded in 1924, uses a lot of calligraphic art on it designer bottles and promotional material. "Our company focusses a lot on aesthetic appeal and calligraphy has that charm," an official from its marketing department said. Airlines like Etihad and Emirates use stylised Arabic and have a high recall value. Search giant Google's logo is based on the calligraphy-inspired font, Catull BQ, according to creative platform 99designs.com. Zubair, who writes in five languages -- Urdu, Arabic, Persian, English Hindi and Punjabi, said calligraphy is not about just techniques, but also finer intricacies, like the slant, the size of 'nuqta' (dot) and where to exert pressure and where to go free hand. "If you do improper 'nuqta', 'khuda' can become 'juda'," he says with a smile. "Irrespective of the future that holds for it, I have decided to make my son a calligrapher too. I am very proud of this heritage," he said.

- http://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/books/2018/dec/02/next-generation-must-help-calligraphy-survive-digital-age-artists-experts-1906256.html, Dec 3, 2018

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Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2018: Polls come and go, but Sahariyas’ plight still poor

The Sahariya tribal community of Shahbad region in Baran district, which recorded 47 starvation deaths during the 2001 drought, waits for concerted welfare measures that could take them out of poverty, unemployment and malnutrition. Though politicians have made a promise against starvation, the tribe’s economic condition is yet to reach a reasonable level. Though the 70,000-strong community has been classified as a particularly vulnerable tribal group because of its low development indices, the benefits of additional days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the supply of essential items under the Antyodaya Yojana are not fully available to them. Lakhan Sahariya, a tribal activist from Unee village in Shahbad tehsil, says daily wage labour and agriculture are the main sources of livelihood in the region, but the payments under the MGNREGS are not made on time, while wheat and ghee are supplied on festive occasions. “The Sahariyas have benefited from special reservation made for them, but a lot more still needs to be done,” he said. Mr. Sahariya, 33, who earlier worked with the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, says several youth from the community have obtained government jobs following special efforts, but “concerted measures” are required for the welfare of the landless tribal people in the remote villages. In July 2012, 135 Sahariya families reclaimed land from the landlords with government help and started growing crops. The Congress candidate from Baran-Atru, Panachand Meghwal, told The Hindu during his election campaign in the city’s Cherighat locality that the Special Reservation Bill for Sahariyas, implemented by the Ashok Gehlot government in 1999, had immensely benefited the tribal people and opened new opportunities for them.

Party position

Though Sahariyas have been traditionally voting for the Congress, the reserved seat of Kishanganj was won by the BJP in 2013. BJP MLA Lalit Meena is pitted against Nirmala Sahariya of the Congress from Kishanganj this time. The three other seats in the district — Baran-Atru, Anta and Chhabra — are also occupied by the BJP. Mr. Meghwal said the BJP regime had distorted the Congress government’s scheme for supply of 25 kg of wheat in the region on each ration card by restricting the supply on the basis of number of members in a household. “As a result, the deserving families are not getting the benefit. This is one of the several instances of the BJP’s anti-poor approach. They remember Ram temple during elections instead of working for the betterment of the poor.” The Baran chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has taken up the task of preserving the tribal art of mandana, which is drawn on floor and walls as a mark of celebration and to protect home and hearth. INTACH district convenor Jitendra Sharma said each mandana painting was accompanied by a different song, which had been catalogued and recorded. Artist Kaushalya Devi recently drew mandanas at the Mini-Secretariat here on behalf of INTACH during a heritage week. Mr. Sharma said the preservation of tribal art would help protect Sahariyas’ identity.

- https://www.thehindu.com/elections/rajasthan-assembly-elections-2018/polls-come-and-go-but-sahariyas-plight-still-poor/article25649107.ece, Dec 3, 2018

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APS Jammu Cantt clinches trophy in INTACH Quiz

The students of Army Public School (APS) Jammu Cantt participated in Intach Heritage Quiz HP Chapter State final of which was held at Adhunik Public School, Sidhwari (Dharamshala) on November 29, 2018. The quiz was organised in collaboration with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. The students VaibhavJha of X-B and Radhe Shyam of VIII-A from APS Jammu Cantt participated in the quiz. They were adjudged third in the competition. It was a great opportunity for students to boost their confidence and achieve the Winner Tag in the State Finals.

- http://news.statetimes.in/aps-jammu-cantt-clinches-trophy-in-intach-quiz/, Dec 3, 2018

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Mughal era Kalai crumbling under encroachment, neglect

Various historical accounts reveal construction of ''Kalai'' was completed in early 17th century. Mir Mohammad Hussain Kanth, a Kashmiri, was appointed by the Mughals to supervise its construction. The massive wall, Kalai built around a hill in the middle of Downtown during Emperor Akbar’s reign has survived vagaries of centuries, but parts of this marvelous enclosure are crumbling amid neglect and encroachment. Building the 'Kalai' started on Akbar’s third visit to Kashmir in 1589 AD following the Mughal invasion of the region in 1585-86. Various historical accounts reveal construction of 'Kalai' was completed in early 17th century. Mir Mohammad Hussain Kanth, a Kashmiri, was appointed by the Mughals to supervise its construction. Over the centuries the massive stone and mortar enclosure protected many of Kashmir’s foreign kings who ruled from the fort atop the hill known both as Hari Parbhat and Koh-e-Maran. But now it is a crumbling structure shadowing shanties that have come up along its interior side right from Sangeen Darwaza and Kathi Darwaza, erstwhile gates to the ruling quarters inside the wall. Successive governments and authorities have failed to check the encroachment which has at places completely obliterated the heritage enclosure from view. The two main gates guiding visitors inside the Kalai area, Kathi Darwaza from Rainawari side and Sangin Darwaza from Hawal, still retain some of their old grandeur. Another gate, the Bachhee Darwaza towards the shrine of Hazrat Makhdoom sahib (RA) was reconstructed in late 90’s. Visitors can still see remnants of an entire city inside the Mughal enclosure. Mulla Akhoond Sahab Masjid or Mallashah Masjid and adjacent Hamam built by Dara Shikoh, the fort atop Koh-e-Maran hillock built by Pathan governor Atta Muhammad Khan adds to the historicity of the wall. The boundary of Kalai also overlooks Pokhribal lake on its eastern side and Waris Khan chah (well) on Badamwari side holding some important glimpses of Kashmir history under foreign rule. The Mallashah Masjid, Kathi Darwaza and Sangin Darwaza are officially under the protection and care of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), while Kalai rampart itself and the fort come under the domain of Department of Archives and Archaeology. Convener of the Kashmir chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Muhammad Saleem Beg, who has carried out extensive research on the 'Kalai' said the whole structure of the enclosure more than three kilometers long and its texture comprises of stone fitted with lime mortar as binding material. Historians say, Akbar realizing the strategic importance of the hillock in the middle of the city, erected the massive wall around it and then built a city complex Nagar Nagar inside. Some historians are also of the view that the Mughal emperor undertook building the Kalai to “alleviated the distress of the people during famine” by engaging them as labour, and built the city inside “with the view of attracting Kashmiris back to Kashmir, who had fled in the troublous times of the Chaks. High wages were given to men and women.” “The city complex was built by Akbar. He realised importance of the hill from a military standpoint. That is why he constructed a military cantonment here, which also served as sort of secretariat for his bureaucracy,” said assistant professor of History at Kashmir University, Sajjad Ahmad Darzi. “Since there was famine in the city, he (Akbar) sanctioned two crore rupees and sent off the money along with 200 artisans and 200 servants to built the city.” Other historians say Akbar build the insurmountable wall around the hill purely for military purposes as Kashmiri people had given a tough time to his forces resisting their occupation of the land. Zareef Ahmad Zareef, a prominent writer who lives in the vicinity of Kalai, said Kashmiris disliked the Mughal army, since it had invaded their land through deception, after it was defeated two times by them. “Kashmiris, particularly young men had launched a guerilla war for several years against Mughals. They were known as Dilawars. These Dilawars were persecuted by Mughals. Some hardened Dilawars were even taken to jail built by Mughals on islands inside Dal lake including Ropelank and Sonelank where they were tortured to death and discreetly drowned,” said Zareef. Zareef said resistance against Mughal army later became subtle and got reduced to Kashmiris name calling Mughals as ‘Shikas Mogul’ and ‘Poge Mogul’ to vent their anger and in a way console themselves. Union government in 2009 sanctioned a Nagar Nagar project for restoration of the Kalai, however it failed to achieve its aim owing to official apathy. In 2013 repair work of the wall was started, but it was stopped midway after it started crumbling down. Director, Archives and Archaeology, Muneer-ul-Islam said his department does not have adequate funds to carry out repair work of the Kalai. An official of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, wishing anonymity, said that “we are helpless to take action against encroachers, as it will hit the vote bank of some politicians.” "It is a huge task to remove existing encroachments from Kalai, while at the same time if government is serious to remove these it can do so easily. There are lot pressures from various quarters," he said.

- https://greaterkashmir.com/news/srinagar-city/mughal-era-kalai-crumbling-under-encroachment-neglect/304858.html, Dec 3, 2018

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Vadnagar‘s skeleton is 2,000 yrs old!

The skeletal remains unearthed from PM ‘s home town Vadnagar in north Gujarat has given a sneak peak into 2,000-year-old history. ASI sources said the skeleton, unearthed last year by the Excavation Branch of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from Vadnagar, dates back to 2nd century BCE to 1st century CE. Dr Niraj Rai, senior scientist, Institute of Paleosciences (BSIP), Lucknow, said that primary analysis of the remains including profiling has been completed. “We had got two human bone samples from the site. Dating methods indicate its age at about 2,000 years – from 2nd century BCE to 1st century CE. Comparison of DNA profile reveals a match with reference data of western India‘s existing population,” said Rai, adding that further analysis is being done which is expected to throw more light on the population of that era. ASI sources said that the remains were found from cultural deposits belonging to Kshatrapa period (1st-4th century CE). For the researchers working at Vadnagar, the result means that the population profile has not drastically changed for the area over the centuries. In fact, the town is a unique site where excavation had established an unbroken cultural sequence for over 2,000 years. ASI is creating cultural profile of Vadnagar which is believed to have been developed at the same location for over two millennia. The skeletal remain was unearthed during the large scale excavation, taking place under leadership of deputy superintending archaeologist Dr Abhijit Ambekar, in the Ghaskol area – also the location of the only fully excavated Buddhist monastery by the state archaeology department. What started as a search for the Buddhist monasteries mentioned by 7th century Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang has now revealed multiple structures including a super structure dating back to 5th century on the banks of Lake. The excavations are already in its fourth season this year where the teams have identified areas in Vadnagar, nearby Taranga hills and Gunja lake. The team has already found another brick structure on the banks of Sharmishtha lake.

- http://www.mmahotstuff.com/2018/12/03/vadnagars-skeleton-is-2000-yrs-old.html, Dec 3, 2018

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A Book on Hazaribagh School of Painting written by Shri Bulu Imam, Convener INTACH

Hazaribagh School of Painting which was published in English by Lambert Academic Publishers in Germany has now been published in Hindi with over 50 colour photos of Hazaribagh Khovar and Sohrai village house paintings by the Information and Public Relations Department, Govt. of Jharkhand in a first edition of 10,000 copies and was released on 15th November at Sanskriti. The function was held informally at Sanskriti and attended by Shri Anand Priyadarshi, Dy.Director,IPRD, Govt of Jharkhand, Mr Jin Kuramae and Mrs Kyoka Ogawa of Tokyo, Ms Marilena Proietti, Ms Valeria Termolino of University of Rome, members of GRD School, Giridih, members of Sanskriti. The book carries messages from Shri Raghubar Das, Chief Minister,Jharkhand, Shr Sunil Barnawal, IAS,Secretary IPRD, Foreword by Mrs Vandana Dadel,IAS, Commissioner, North Chotanagpur Division, Shri Anand Priyadarshi, Dy.Director,IPRD, Hazaribagh. The book is for free distribution in Jharkhand.

- http://chapter.intach.org/pdf/chapter-30nov18.pdf, Dec 4-5, 2018

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Heritage conservation also about local know-how: EU-India panel

Cultural heritage is equally about community involvement and preserving traditional knowledge systems as about built heritage such as monuments. This was the crux of a panel discussion that opened a two-day conference on EU-India partnership on culture in the national capital. Speaking to a house full of European and Indian delegates in a conference on "EU-India Partnership for Cultural Heritage Conservation" at the National Museum, conservation architect Nishant Upadhyay built a case for cultural heritage as a catalyst for socio-economic development. The Unesco program officer elaborated on the lost royal gardens of Rajnagar, which were restored by the Belgian chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) starting 2003, with a focus on agro-forestry and community involvement in the area. Only a few minutes away from the globally known heritage site of Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh, the Rajnagar gardens were "nature tamed to individual will" and were used for royal recreation. Upadhyay, while elaborating on the Bundelkhandi gardens, said that although the gardens are privately owned, a local farmers' community was still involved. Through reviving cultivation in those gardens, INTACH was able to apply local know-how in the landscape conservation work. "Conservation is not just about built heritage environments, but also about conserving traditional knowledge systems," a doctoral researcher said at the event. The case study supplied crucial information on how building local seed-banks and crop markets, and engaging potters and craftspersons to create material for each 'lost' garden not just generated employment but reinstated a community space and nudged organisation of music and organic food festivals in the gardens. Taking other conservation efforts as cases, his co-panellists elaborated on how culture and economy can thrive together, and because of each other. Panellists Juan-Manuel Guimerans and Debashish Nayak, who head the Valladolid City Council (Spain) and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation respectively, had partnered for an EU-funded project in Ahmedabad. Titled "Cultural Heritage Management and Venture Lab", the project encouraged entrepreneurial initiative in the Gujarat city that "loves business". The catch? The start-ups and projects must be about cultural heritage conservation. The Lab boasts of several initiatives that it sparked, including those around media, photography, theatre, food, and even tourist guides. The panel that discussed "enormous spillover effects" of cultural preservation, opened the conference set in motion by EU Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski, Culture Ministry Joint Secretary Nirupama Kotru and National Museum Director General B.R. Mani on Tuesday. The conference marks in India the conclusion of the celebrations of the 2018 as the European year of Cultural Heritage, the objective of which has been to further cultural heritage as a bridge builder between the EU and its key partner countries, EU said.

- https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/heritage-conservation-also-about-local-know-how-eu-india-panel-118120400837_1.html, Dec 4-5, 2018

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Karan Singh writes to Guv on Mubarak Mandi condition

Former Sadar-i-Riyasat, Dr Karan Singh has urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to call all files connected with Mubarak Mandi and see what can be done to preserve this important part of rich Dogra heritage, which, he said, is crumbling before our eyes. Describing condition of the Mubarak Mandi complex as “deteriorating”, Dr Karan Singh asserted that more buildings are on the verge of collapse. Dr Karan Singh, a former Union Minister and Congress leader, has voiced his concerns over condition of Mubarak Mandi complex in a letter written to the Governor today. Dr Karan Singh said only last week yet another portion of the historic Mubarak Mandi complex has collapsed. “This huge palace complex was handed over to the State Government by Maharaja Hari Singh during his own rulership. For some years, it was used as a Secretariat but after 1947, it gradually fell into misuse and because of lack of maintenance, parts of the complex started collapsing,” Dr Singh said in his letter to the Governor, a copy of which has been released to the media. Noting that some years back, the INTACH was commissioned to renovate these buildings, he regretted that for some reasons, the process was discontinued. “An organization called the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society was formed and the Archaeological Survey of India was also involved but despite these measures, the situation continued to deteriorate and more buildings are on the verge of collapse,” Dr Karan Singh wrote. He said one building has been restored, which was supposed to have become the ‘Jammu Museum’ but it still remain vacant and its condition has also started deteriorating. “I would urge you to kindly call for all the files connected with Mubarak Mandi and see what can be done to preserve this important part of the rich Dogra heritage, which is crumbling before our eyes,” Dr Karan Singh said.

- http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/karan-singh-writes-to-guv-on-mubarak-mandi-condition/, Dec 6, 2018

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The City of Culture on course to becoming truly ‘Smart’ – Anil Garg, Chairman, Lucknow Smart City Limited

Thanks to a number of path-breaking initiatives under implementation, the historic City of Lucknow is marching ahead to soon become a truly ‘Smart’ city, says Anil Garg, Divisional Commissioner, Lucknow and Chairman, Lucknow Smart City Limited, in conversation with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN). Give us an overview of the ‘smart’ projects undertaken by the Lucknow Smart City Limited. Lucknow Smart City Limited is extending its citizen centric services through various delivery channels. We are implementing Integrated Command and Control Centre to integrate various smart citizen centric solutions. This system will integrate all city specific IT-enabled services. Integrated Central Command & Control Centre is under construction on the B.N road and the Master System Integrator (MSI) project has been awarded to M/s Fluentgrid in consortium with M/s BEL. Integration of services like UP 100, The Women Power Line 1090, Drishti etc, along with existing and proposed ICT Systems and Utility will also be done under this project. The gestation period for this project is approximately 8 months. Close monitoring by Lucknow Smart City CEO and the PMC will be the key to the success of this project. Across ABD area, in six parks of Nagar Nigam, installation of Wi-Fi hotspots has been executed for providing free Wi-Fi services to the citizens. Underground distribution cabling & relocation of transformers has been done by the DISCOM in the Hazaratganj area. Upgradation of the substation in Kaiserbagh for SCADA system has been done. New transformers in Kaiserbagh area have also been installed. SCADA system for whole city of Lucknow is under consideration in collaboration with the Madhyanchal DISCOM. Under our ‘Solid Waste Management – GPS & ICT for user charge collection’ project, Smart Community bins are being set up. Under this, door to door collection has been started in 107 wards. 100 per cent coverage has been achieved in 76 wards. Mobile Compact Stations have been installed at 30 locations across the city. This work is being done in the PPP mode in collaboration with M/c Eco Green Private Limited and Lucknow Nagar Nigam. Waste to power plant at a cost of Rs 300 crores is under construction in this project. Waste to energy pellets and tilizers has already commenced. Solar Power plant in the PPP mode has already been installed at the Avanti Bai Hospital. This will reduce the electricity bills of the hospital in a big way. Waste water reuse systems are being installed in Balrampur hospital and Awanti Bai Hospital in the PPP mode. These will be local STP plants dedicated for the hospitals concerned. Smart roads and turnarounds works are being worked out by Institute of Urban Transport in collaboration with Municipal Corporation. Tender for Smart road for Daliganj is under process by Nagar Nigam. Smart roads, utility duct is being also done in three metro station areas in the ABD and near ABD area in collaboration with Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC). Smart bus shelter project has been awarded to the M/s Ozone Overseas Private Limited. The work has started with the identification of locations by Nagar Nigam, city bus service and traffic Police officials. GPS instruments have been installed in the city buses for the Vehicle Tracking System (VTS). Two more electric crematoriums are being given to the city under 14th Finance commission, one at Baikunth Dham and the other at Gulaila ghat.

Tell us a bit about the Smart City Surveillance Project.

This is one of the flagship projects, which is executed by Lucknow Smart City Limited. M/s Technosys Security System Pvt Ltd has been selected for implementing the Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS) project. Salient features of ITMS include Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS), Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system, Red Light Violation Detection (RLVD) system, Speed Violation Detection (SVD) system, No Helmet Detection and Triple Riding Detection etc. The RFP for this project was made under the able guidance of ADG Lucknow Shri Rajiv Krishna. At present, the ‘DRISHTI’ surveillance project which has a total of 80 IP CCTV, Automatic Number Plate Recognition System (ANPR), Video Analytics, Mobile Surveillance System, Command Control Centre and Data Centre has proved to be very useful in curbing crimes in the city. At present, the project covers 70 junctions in Lucknow, with a dedicated focus on entry and exit points in the city, VVIP areas, and all critical and sensitive hotspots. Going forward with the ITMS project plans are in the offing to increase the number of cameras for the command system which will cover the whole city of Lucknow. This project will be also collaborating with the ‘Safe City initiative’ project which has been sanctioned for the district Lucknow by the Ministry of Home, Government of India. How are you planning to develop Kaiserbagh area of Lucknow city in a new way? With a view to preserve the rich heritage of the ABD area of Kaiserbagh, a number of projects are being implemented. The key components for retrofitting Kaiserbagh area include utility improvement, smart grid and infrastructure development for slums and urban poor. Work on building roads, community toilets, night shelters in the slums has been started by the Nagar Nigam. Under this scheme, there are also plans to cover nullahs (open drains), strengthen and augment the existing drainage network under the dovetailing with AMRUT. For water supply, we aim to strengthen and augment the distribution network, increase use of smart metering, and use Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). UP Jal Nigam is doing this project worth 40 crores of water supply in the ABD area. For improving the sewer network of Kaiserbagh area, project of worth around Rs 300 crores is being implemented by the UP Jal Nigam. Piped Natural Gas (PNG) supply work is being implemented in the Kaiserbagh area by the Green Gas Limited. They have started the work of survey after getting the NOC from Nagar Nigam as per the enabling government order in this regard. The work of preserving and utilizing the heritage buildings of this ABD area like Chattar Manzil, Roshan Ud Dolah Kothi, Kothi Gulestaan-e-eram and Darshan Vilas Kothi has been given to INTACH. MoU has been signed with INTACH to give the concept work and develop it further as the implementing agency after getting due approvals from the state culture department. For electricity in the ABD area, much work has been to improve underground distribution cabling and relocate transformers, and at the same time increase the use of smart metering by the MVVNL DISCOM. Further SCADA system in collaboration with MVVNL discom is under consideration.

What challenges do you experience in implementing the smart city projects and how do deal with multiplicity of organizations/ departments?

The projects envisaged as part of Smart City Project require funding and approval from state and other sources, hence better coordination among various departments like Health, Transport, Development Authority, State Archeological Directorate and PWD is vital to the success of plan implementation. Citizens’ participation is a pre-requisite for the success of smart city projects. Role of CEO smart city and the PMC is most important for the successful execution of the various projects which have started. Regular monitoring, day to day basis interaction with the various stakeholder departments and the citizens will be the key to the final success of this project.

What are the unique features of Common Mobility Card introduced for Lucknow Metro? Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) and Lucknow Nagar Nigam (LNN) joined hands by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for facilitation of payment of house/property taxes through ‘GoSmart’ card of Lucknow Metro at Metro Stations. The main objective is to propagate the idea of smart travel for which LMRC is making every possible effort for facilitation of additional customer services for the benefit and convenience of the Metro commuters. LMRC will facilitate the collection of tax payments of Nagar Nigam from its customers at its Metro Stations which will enable passengers to use their “GoSmart Card” to make payments for the property tax at ticket counters. LMRC will then forward the collections along with information to the Lucknow Nagar Nigam.

How do you visualise the role of PPP in the city’s development?

Thanks to the role played by the private sector in the city’s development, today’s Lucknow, in many ways, is a smart city in the making, with its rapidly growing physical infrastructure like the new international airport in the making, flyovers, upcoming metro rail, IT parks, sports stadiums, real estate development and growing social infrastructure such as state of the art hospitals and educational institutions. In a bid to further accelerate the city’s development and to fully harness the utility of Private sector in executing various citizen-centric initiatives, we have promoted publicprivate partnerships in many sectors such as Public Bike Sharing project, is being executed by M/s Zoom Car Pvt Ltd. on a pilot-basis in Gomti Nagar. Energy Efficient Street Lighting Project has been awarded to EESL on PPP mode. Waste water reuse, solar power plant is also being done in PPP model. Smart bus shelter is another project in this category.

- https://egov.eletsonline.com/2018/12/the-city-of-culture-on-course-to-becoming-truly-smart-anil-garg-chairman-lucknow-smart-city-limited/, Dec 7, 2018

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From scrap to sculpture: Story of Odisha’s waste to art museum in offing

The state’s first waste museum is expected to send the message that nothing is beyond the scope of art. Hemanta Pradhan visits the project site and finds common scrap being put to unusual use: The state’s first open-air waste museum will come up in the capital city on Tuesday. To be inaugurated by chief minister , the museum will display 21 sculptures and installations made out of waste by national and international artists. The artists began work on the sculptures from November 1, as part of the First organized by charitable trust Artists Network Promoting Indian Culture (Anpic) at the museum site at Sector-7, . The work of 14 international and seven Indian artists will find pride of place at this unique museum — the culmination of the public art symposium. Anpic will develop and promote the museum in collaboration with the (BDA). “The BDA has given over three acres of land for the open-air museum project. It has a boundary wall but we will need to carry out some beautification in and around the site to make it attractive,” said , managing trustee of Anpic. Mohapatra said the artists had used a range of junk — defunct car parts, autorickshaws, cycle parts and drums — to work on the sculptures and installations. “As we have spent so much money on creating art, we don‘t want to abandon it after the symposium ends. So we decided to turn the venue into an open-air museum,” he said. The art museum is expected to cost Rs 5 crore. “It is not a temporary thing. We will make it permanent and the BDA will maintain the art works,” the Anpic official said. Bhabani Shankar Chayani, member (enforcement) of the BDA, said Anpic would develop the museum and hand it over to it for maintenance. “People can visit it without paying any entrance fee,” he added. Khitish Das, an art enthusiast, said the museum would attract people, especially artists and art lovers, to this part of the city. “This will be an important stop for artists,” he added. With the inauguration approaching, the artists are racing against time to give final touches to their work. All 21 pieces are based on themes. While Paddy Bloomer from Ireland has created a piece using the axle of a truck, drums, car parts and wheels, Pruthiraj Sahoo, an Odia artist living in Gujarat, has built the replica of an elephant by using cycle parts. In Bloomer’s work, a cycle wheel is connected to the spherical top of the structure. If a person pedals the wheel, the spherical top will move and create drum beats. “Most of the art here is still so I thought of making art that moves. Children will love it,” he explained. Sahoo has sought inspiration from his childhood days. “In my village Khellar in Pipili of Puri district, I would often see elephants with mahouts atop them. People would give them rice and fruits. We would be on cycles, while the mahouts would be on the elephants. My art combines these two memories,” said the artist, who completed his master’s degree in sculpting two years ago. Chuguli Sahoo, another artist from Odisha, has created a peacock by using a defunct car, broken scooter, cycle wheels, damaged rods and oil drums. “A peacock is one of the beautiful birds on earth. I thought I could use waste to create something beautiful. I hope people will love it,” said Sahoo. Heidi McGeoch from Australia wants to recreate one of the pillars of Ashok, with ‘Satyameva Jayate’ written on it. To be around 35 feet tall, the pillar will use nine damaged oil drums. A wheel will be set on top. “I love Indian culture and chose peace and Buddhism for my art. It will look stunning after the light fittings are done,” she added. Anpic’s Mohapatra said the plan was to add to the collection in the coming years by organising similar art symposia. “An event involving over 100 international artists might be held in 2020,” he added.

- https://finexaminer.com/2018/12/06/from-scrap-to-sculpture-story-of-odishas-waste-to-art-museum-in-offing/, Dec 7, 2018

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