Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, a city founded in the 6th century, has been chosen for area-based development under the Centre’s Smart City Mission (SCM).

The Maharaj Bada, an oval-shaped market built by the Scindias with elements of Victorian, Greek, Roman, Gothic and Indian architecture, will be redeveloped and restored. Five heritage buildings, including the historic Gorkhi palace and its complex which is near the Bada will also be developed.

Apart from Gwalior, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Sagar and Satna cities of Madhya Pradesh have been selected under the SCM.

“Creation of brand Gwalior with special focus on outreach to tourists, visitors and local citizenry and promotion of local cultural identity to national and international audiences, will be made through urban historical revitalisation and redevelopment under SCM in the city,” Mahip Tejaswi, CEO of Gwalior Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (GSCDCL), told The Statesman.

“Not only will GSCDCL develop the city infrastructurally but also make it environment-friendly and hygienic,” said Tejaswi.

The 50-acre area of the Maharaj Bada region within the old historic quarters of Gwalior, has been delineated as the core area under the Smart City proposal. Smart roads with integrated traffic management system will also be built in the city.

“The special focus will be to enhance the pedestrian experience and environment by provisioning alternate routes / lay-byes, large-scale parking facilities at important nodes around the Maharaj Bada. Carbon sink park, subway shopping arcade and multi-level basement parking will be built at the Gorkhi palace complex. Parking will connect all historic buildings through an integral open space and the carbon sink park will act as a green relief in the area by subsidising and absorbing locally generated carbon footprint and ambient pollutants,” Tejaswi said.

Work of beautification and restoration costing Rs 2,500 crore will be done under the Smart City Mission in the city. Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar has laid foundation-stones of 9 projects such as smart cycle sharing, revitalisation and beautification of Vir Savarkar pond and Shivaji park, beautification of Town Hall (one among the five heritage buildings of Maharaj Bada), establishment of smart class in government schools, solar energy projects and Smart City Command Control Centre.

A 4 km heritage trail network will be built through the conservation and adaptive reuse of around 70 public and private heritage buildings at Maharaj Bada. Work for dynamic facade illumination of 5 public and 2 private heritage buildings is being done under the mission in Maharaj Bada area.