Monday, August 25, 2014

SMART CITIES - An Overview !!

Smart City: 
  • There is no definition of Smart city as such. However, it can be presumed that these cities would mobilize the Information and Communication to deliver better services, reduce the carbon foot print, create a sustainable environment, provide better job opportunities and living conditions. 

Given the fact that the existing cities, which accommodate a bulk of the population, waste a lot of resources and are energy-inefficient, Smart city is a concept where life is technologically driven with efficient use of energy and resources. For example, if you have forgotten to turn off a light in your house and you are in train to your workplace which is 40km away, you can still switch it off remotely. This is called smart grid technology.

  • With the age of smart phone gripping our lives already, it is good time for governments and stakeholders to create the digital city life. 
  • Accordingly, this flagship project of the Government of INDIA  to build 100 smart cities, have received a firm financial allocation of Rs. 7, 060 crore also FDI norms have been relaxed to attract investors to build them. 
  • With assistance from Singapore, the first city coming under this project is Gujarat International Financial Tec (GIFT) City.

Strengths and Oppurtunities !
  • Smart cities project in India is very significant as, these cities promise number of direct and indirect jobs. 
  • In smart cities, Solid waste will be sucked out from homes and offices through pipelines leading directly to a waste processing plant helping manage everyday chores. 
  • Being environmentally friendly, smart cities use sustainable materials for building facilities. 
  • These cities would reduce energy consumption and offer convenient transport service.

Concerns !!

1. The Government has allocated Rs 7000 crore in this budget which is around Rs 70 crore per city, this is definitely not enough. It is good only if its like a initial token amount to kick start the project and later more funds will be arranged (which may happen in next budget ! ).

2. The smart cities will be developed on the outskirts of the existing cities. Its possible that instead of easing the burden on the existing one it can become a barricaded area between rich and poor.If the existing cities will be ignored then smart city project would turn out to be an expensive real estate meant to serve a few.

3. The Land development is a state subject and states active enthusiastic participation is necessary. This can only happen when the center can arrange enough funds for them.

MORAL of the STORY !!

The Smart cities will definitely help India to join the urbanization race, where at present we are lagging and by 2050 we would be least urbanised country in the world at the present rate. However, its important to ensure its equitable and inclusive nature.The thought is progressive as we need to overhaul urban governance and infrastructure, both physical and digital.

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