Smart Janpath Becomes Hangout Zone

Bhubaneswar: With the Capital City changing rapidly with its new urban space, making it a vibrant destination to roam around and just be at one’s favourite place and enjoying the ambience, the Smart Janpath Project along the Vani Vihar and Sishu Bhawan Square corridor, has metamorphosed into a safe, admirable and enjoyable place for friends, families, students and even small kids.

The places from Ekamra Plaza near Sishu Bhawan Square up to the Master Canteen Square where the I Love Bhubaneswar Plaza is under development, people have started experiencing the beautiful lighting and ambience. Families and friends in groups are coming in large numbers just to hang around, take selfies and capture the wonderful moments together.

Tulika Panda, a young entrepreneur and mother said “since my childhood days I am here in the city, but the way as the Janpath transformation is happening, I am really fortunate to see the vibrant change, as we had only knew about the Temple City tag. Now I can proudly say that Bhubaneswar has become the happening city of the East and with development and sports facilities the transformation is bold and beautiful.’’

Devi Prasad Patra a consultant with a state government project in the city, was of the opinion that the city has suddenly become a beautiful, happening and vibrant urban space and the lights, landscaping and beautification have added to its charm. The Smart Janpath, which has taken shape from the Sishu Bhavan-end has become a safe hangout zone for the young public and they are enjoying a lot.

Ipsita Mishra, homemaker of the Old Town area in the city said “the gateway to the Old City near the Ekamra Plaza might have become a sought-after selfie zone, but it beautifully represents the combination of the Old and new at the beginning of the Smart Janpath. I wish the wonderful work would make the entire Sishu Bhawav-Vani Vihar stretch colourful in near future.

Aurora, a Class V student of DAV Public School Pokhariput feels that the new look of the Capital has come as a nice achievement for the Smart City in the making. “I know that our city’s proposal was cantered around a child-friendly concept, but after seeing the development and the safe ambience I feel that it will be a reality very soon. The bus queue shelters along the Janpath are also looking great with the lighting and beautiful structure.’’

Tushar Nayak, a engineering student said “during the evening time not only waiting for the Mo Buses, but sitting and roaming around the bus queue shelters have become a good “time pass’’ for our group and we are happy that more people are getting inspired to ride Mo Cycle as many public bicycle sharing stations are night near the BQS.’’

Photo enthusiast Niladri Bihari Panda, a senior manager in RBI, Chennai, who visited the city recently, said “to me the transformation in my city has brought a new look and spirit. I think the entire city has become such a sight that everywhere people are just waiting for a while and taking selfies. I think it would be apt to call my city now a Selfie City.’’

About Smart Janpath

Janpath’s transformation from main arterial road to “People’s Street”  focussed on created public spaces for people and creates defined corridors for pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, intermediate pick up and drop up zones for para-transit users (auto/cycle/electric rickshaws).

The road is Wi-Fi enabled with smart traffic signals and display boards. Cycle stations along the road has “Mo Cycles” under Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) scheme. The sitting areas and the intermittent placement of dustbins ensure adds to basic features of Smart Janpath.

Two major public placemaking feature of the project are:

  1. Ekamra plaza at Sishubhawan
  2. I Love Bhubaneswar Plaza at Master canteen

Other salient features of the project: –

─          Equitable allocation of road space: Optimum use of road space using road diet, consider Non-Motorized Transport (Walking, cycling etc.) as equal and important users of road space and allocate space and facilities accordingly – 50% of the road width to be permitted for the vehicular traffic and rest 50% for the pedestrians and NMT

─          Interconnected NMT network: Focusing on network planning and streetscape improvement connecting mixed-use walkable neighborhoods where all residents are within a 5-10 minute walk and can ‘live, work, play, shop and learn’ in a pedestrian-friendly environment – without the need of a car.

─          Provide an attractive pedestrian environment: With an attractive streetscape and public realm, i.e. provide shade, weather protection, pedestrian amenities and visual interest.

─          Ensure design principles that assure barrier-free movement for all types of NMT users including infant prams, children, physically or cognitively impaired pedestrians, wheelchair and luggage carts, in addition to average pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorized vehicles.

─          Place-making: Creating active, vibrant and safe public places by creating squares, plazas, parks, and pedestrian only streets for social interaction and physical activity.

─          Utility Corridor: Provide separate space for various utilities to lay down, like water, sewer, telephone line, fiber cable, gas, etc.

─          Junction Improvement: Over all road design of whole Janpath will also take care of all the geometric improvements of the junctions which are coming along the stretch.

─          Designated space for surface infrastructure: This project is going to address and provide designated spaces for all surface infrastructure, i.e. street light poles, benches, signal posts, traffic signage, Bus Shelter, Auto Stand, Parking spaces, public toilet, water ATM, etc.

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Odisha Story Bureau
A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, founder-editor of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: editor@odishastory.com