Barsimaluguri – Northeast India’s first smart village
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent announcement about making smart cities has caught everyone’s attention, one remote village in Assam has scored high by already earning the tag of being Northeast’s first smart village. Barsimaluguri, about 11 km from the Indo-Bhutan border, in Baksa district of Assam has been turned into a model smart village with 100% toilets, solar power and pure drinking water. This was the result of an initiative taken by few of the individuals under the patronage of the Nanda Talukdar Foundation (NTF).
There are more than 20,000 villages in Assam with numerous government schemes being implemented, but none has been transformed into a smart village. We decided to concentrate on one village and turn it into a model village, independent of government schemes, said NTF Secretary Mrinal Talukdar.
The team has mainly worked on four verticals – alternative energy, drinking water, sanitation and skill development. Talukdar and his consultant friend Aniruddh Goswami had the Detailed Project Report ready by 2014, but the task of finding a sponsor was not easy. Finally, the India Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (IIFCL) stepped in to finance the project.
Some were not sure whether we could successfully implement the project while many others rued why just one village? We were, however, not disheartened and our struggle to find a sponsor continued. Finally, the India Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (IIFCL) stepped in to finance our dream project, said Mrinal Talukdar.
The work to turn Barsimaluguri into a smart village began on January 15, 2015. The very first initiative was to set up the water purification plant and now this village is perhaps the only one in the region to have a reverse osmosis plant.
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