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VARANASI SMART CITY PROPOSAL ANALYSIS

The Varanasi smart city proposal focuses on rejuvenating the city by conserving and promoting its rich heritage through innovative inclusive solutions. The strategic goals of the city are to maintain the religious and heritage component of the city, making the city clean, to provide seamless mobility, to promote local entrepreneurship and smart services through use of ICT.

The area-based development succinctly covers disabled friendly interventions on the part of disabled friendly pathways, barrier free footpaths and disabled friendly toilets. The initiative is converged under the Accessible India Campaign and HRIDAY in order to make the selected ghats and roads disabled friendly. Apart from the transport sector there are no provisions for persons with disabilities under various categories like skill development centres, smart bus shelters, heritage walks, etc.

The pan-city development highlights interventions in the sector of Urban Mobility and E- governance. It introduces several features like e-Kashi app, smart card, community engagement portals, digital wallet, e-bookings, etc. The pan-city initiatives fail to integrate accessibility features for digital inclusion of persons with disabilities. Overall the proposal caters some disabled friendly interventions related to mobility but completely neglects the accessibility features for ICT-driven solutions.

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