India: Supporting the 100 Smart Cities project

Gearing up to roll out its ‘Smart City’ scheme next month, the Government on Tuesday said it has planned to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for each of the cities to execute the ambitious project.

The NDA government has announced to create 100 smart cities across the country. Given the challenges of building smart cities, a SPV will be created for each city to be included in the ‘Smart City’ scheme, urban development minister M.Venkaiah Naidu said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

He said the smart cities and the new urban renewal mission scheme for 500 cities would be launched next month. Speaking on the smart cities initiative at an event in New Delhi, Naidu said that efficient deployment of human and physical resources is one of the objectives of the scheme.

The project envisages modern amenities, continuous water and power supply, effective transportation and medical facilities, among others. Naidu elaborated that the present deficit in physical, social, economic and institutional infrastructure will be bridged to make the cities more livable to drive the economic growth. He said that this infrastructure deficit will be bridged by retro-fitting of identified areas of a city and redevelopment of areas which are not amenable to retrofitting to enable such areas conform to the norms of smart city. In addition, pan-city schemes like efficient public transport systems including ring roads, e-governance initiatives, etc., will also be undertaken under brownfield development.

Stating that present conditions in urban areas are in a “bad state”, any improvements in infrastructure and other amenities would make a difference to the quality of living. Naidu said “the objective of smart cities building is to enable such changes in a sustainable manner for long-term results. Smart solutions will be applied to places and projects to enable efficient utilisation of limited resources like land, water and power.”

He said that building smart cities does not mean putting in place glossy skyscrapers. “It is all about imparting a human face to urban development so that the aspirations of socio-economic advancement are fulfilled through adequate employment and livelihood opportunities,” he added.

Source: Live Mint

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