Open Forum

Are smart cities the smarter option for India?

Smart City Mission is an important initiative which was launched in June 2015. The mission intends to provide core infrastructure to the citizens of the city in a sustainable, cleaner and smarter way – including benefits like greener surroundings, cleaner energy etc.

The underlying idea of a Smart City is to apply ‘smart solutions’ through extensive use of information technology (IT) to ensure adequate availability, improvement and accessibility of basic infrastructure. In addition, through IT the programme intends to improve the governance and citizen’s participation, safety and security of the citizens.

While the Smart Cities intend to achieve transformational impact on urban spaces and service delivery, the ability to meet the expectations with timely delivery could be impacted by various factors such as lack of adequate capacity, funding challenges, land acquisition issues and participation of citizens to ensure success of the programme. Nonetheless, with a well-defined project implementation and monitoring mechanism, it is expected that the Smart Cities can rise to the challenges and chart a new path for urban development in India while also boosting economic growth and improving the common quality of life.

Shubham Jain, VP & Sector Head – Corporate Ratings, ICRA Ltd

A Smart city is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. As per Prime Minister’s commitment of making 100 smart cities by 2022 wherein the top 5 cities as rated by Ministry of Urban Development are: Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, and Kochi.

And others in the list are on getting track of getting smart is a very good option for India to get smart. So, answering to the question, yes smart cities not only make the smart option but also sustainable option for India in years to come.

There are five key elements that make a city smart which include: Use of clean technologies, Use of information and communications technology (ICT), private sector involvement, citizen participation, and smart governance. So we need to have a full involvement and support from all parts of the society to make the cities a smart one where not only we would have smart infrastructure but the resource allocation utilisation, consumption and conservation will be smart. So smart cities, villages and communities are the future and need of the hour.

Himanshu Yadav, Director, Ultimate Sun Systems

Representing an organisation which has always stood for promoting solar technology and smart energy solutions, I feel smart cities mission is a smart option for India as it will bring dramatic changes in the quality of people’s life by various measures like switching to smart solar driven cities with adequate water and electricity supply, waste management system, intelligent traffic system, electric car chargers, public transport, e-governance, full IT connectivity and digitalisation, better safety and security, good education and healthcare at affordable prices.

The most salient feature of this mission is active participation of people by considering their ideas and suggestions which promotes participation in decision making. It will not only increase the sense of belongingness but also deliver a sense of responsibility towards their city. The mission will also help in reducing the burden on the metropolitan cities and generate infrastructure and employment in smaller cities too. All in all smart cities is the smart option for India.

Arvinder Bir Singh, Vice President Solar Business,
Eastman Auto & Power Ltd (EAPL)

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