Shekhar Singh, an IAS officer with a vision for transformative change, has left an indelible mark on Maharashtra’s urban landscape. His relentless pursuit of sustainable development and innovative solutions has turned Pimpri Chinchwad into a global innovation hub. Let’s explore his remarkable contributions to the environment and urban well-being.

1. Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation

In a notable distinction, Pimpri Chinchwad emerged as the only Indian city among the top 15 shortlisted cities worldwide for the prestigious Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. This recognition underscores the dedicated efforts of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), led by Shekhar Singh, in achieving sustainable urban development.

The city’s groundbreaking initiative under the Navi Disha program, where women-led groups manage community toilets, played a pivotal role in securing this accolade. Shekhar Singh’s leadership has propelled Pimpri Chinchwad onto the global stage, showcasing how innovative and sustainable methods can enhance urban life.

2. Innovative Urban Initiatives

Shekhar Singh’s commitment to environmental consciousness is evident in PCMC’s innovative projects:

a. Dust Suppression Vehicles

PCMC’s dust suppression vehicles are a testament to resourcefulness. These state-of-the-art machines use recycled sewage water for road cleaning, ensuring cleaner streets and better air quality. By exclusively utilizing treated/recycled water from sewage treatment plants, PCMC avoids wasting precious drinking water or groundwater.

b. Smart Sarthi App

Residents can now monitor their waste from pickup to disposal through the ‘Smart Sarthi’ app. This digital solution promotes transparency, accountability, and efficient waste management. Shekhar Singh’s focus on technology-driven solutions empowers citizens and contributes to a cleaner environment.

c. Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) System

Pimpri Chinchwad proudly received the “City with Best Non-Motorized Transport System” award at the Urban Mobility India 2023 (UMI) awards. The city’s commitment to promoting cycling, walking, and other non-motorized modes of transport exemplifies its dedication to sustainable mobility. Shekhar Singh’s vision extends beyond infrastructure to creating a healthier, greener urban environment1.

3. Holistic Development and Inclusivity

PCMC, under Shekhar Singh’s leadership, is setting up a state-of-the-art welfare center for differently-abled individuals in Morewadi. The Divyang Bhavan will serve as a hub for holistic development, emphasizing comprehensive care for all segments of society. Shekhar Singh’s approach transcends physical infrastructure, recognizing the importance of social welfare and inclusivity.

Under his leadership, PCMC has taken significant strides in promoting sustainable governance practices. One notable initiative is the establishment of a sustainability cell within PCMC dedicated to addressing environmental concerns. Additionally, 32 Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (RRR) centers have been set up across the city. To monitor air quality, 35 sensors have been installed, and a 200 TPD C&D waste recycling plant has been established. Furthermore, a hotel waste-to-biogas project has been implemented, processing 50 tons of daily wet waste to generate 50 to 60 m3 of biogas. Other impactful projects include plans to introduce 180,000 electric vehicles by 2026, a plastic to fuel project, a city heat action plan, and a 3097 kW renewable energy project.

Shekhar Singh’s unwavering commitment to sustainable urban development has transformed Pimpri Chinchwad into a beacon of innovation. His initiatives not only enhance the environment but also uplift the lives of its residents. As other cities look to replicate these successes, Shekhar Singh’s legacy will continue to inspire positive change worldwide.