Smart City Project: India’s new urban vision

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Smart City Project: India’s new urban vision  

Smart City Project in India is one of the current hot topics and in all probability one or other session on WAT in IIMs or other top B-schools may ask the shortlisted candidates to write on this topic.  


What is Smart City in Indian context?

  • A 'smart city' is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability
  • It is a city where information technology is the principal infrastructure and is the basis for providing essential services to residents
  • In a smart city, economic development and activity is sustainable and rationally incremental by virtue of being based on success-oriented market drivers such as supply and demand
  • Smart city will benefit everybody, including citizens, businesses, the government and the environment.
  • In smart cities a number of services such as an e-governance portal, an emergency helpline, e-education, a smart-card enabling cashless retail transactions and recording of medical data for better treatment are present that facilitates the proper functioning of the system.

Why India needs Smart cities?

  • Across the world, the stride of migration from rural to urban areas is increasing. By 2050, about 70 per cent of the population will be living in cities, and India is no exception to this fact.
  • India will need about 500 new cities to accommodate the influx
  • India proposes to have 100 Smart Cities to cope with the rush.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has announced setting up/upgrading of existing cities to 100 smart cities. It will pave way to tremendous growth of India.  


Smart City Vision

  • The 100 Smart cities in India are going to give a new shape and new recognition to India in the coming future.
  • It will improve the pace of economic growth and can provide number of job opportunities to the new talents in the country.
  • The Indian Prime Minister agenda of the “Skill Development” to the youths will gain success when this project takes shape
  • The advancement towards new technology will drive more youths to learn and to earn their livelihood.
  • The “Make in India” project will also boom when the Industrial Corridors such as DMIC, BMEC, AKIC, and CBIC will come into real picture. The development of these corridors will itself contribute a lot in the infrastructural and economical growth of the smart cities lying nearby these belts.
  • Smart City plan is part of a larger agenda of creating Industrial Corridors between India’s big metropolitan cities in India. These include the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor (CBIC) and the Bangalore-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC). The vision is to create many industrial and commercial centres as “Smart Cities” along these corridors.
  • The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which is spread across six states, seeks to create seven new smart cities as the nodes of the corridor in its first phase. There are several such smart city projects being undertaken across the country in places such as Dholera in Gujarat, Kochi in Kerala, Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Manesar in Delhi NCR, Khushkera in Rajasthan, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Ponneri in Tamil Nadu and Tumkur in Karnataka.

Funding for Smart city project

  • Japan has offered a great volume of investment to the tune of $ 4.5 bn in India to develop smart cities in the first phase of the DMIC project through lending from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • Japan is also working closely with the government for the development of other industrial corridors
  • Government has opened the doors for the foreign investors to invest in India and contributes in the development of the smart cities in India
  • IBM and Cisco are the technological partners in developing the smart cities. IBM and Cisco have prepared the Integrated Communication Technology (ICT) Master Plan for the smart cities under the DMIC project in the first phase
  • Smart cities project will raise the living standard of the common people as well as it will contribute in the development of the Indian economy. The smart city project will place India among the top nations of the world. The Indian economy will then have great influence in the Global economy.

Areas that need to be addressed to develop smart cities

  • A large amount of Capital is required to develop the smart cities and therefore needs to attract more and more foreign investment which is not an easy task
  • The government has to liberalize the trade and the other Industry reforms to attract the foreign investors
  • The other biggest concern is over land acquisition. Most of these smart cities are being built ground up, on land currently owned by villagers who may not be open to a change of ownership or who may want a premium price
  • The lack of the coordination between the various Government agencies and project execution are the other areas of concern
  • There is a need of change in the mindset and the segregation of the domain expertise and authorities, such as police, Municipal Corporation etc, with their own agendas and structured processes

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