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Paving the way for ´smart´ infrastructure

Paving the way for ´smart´ infrastructure

Smart Cities Council (SCC) India will launch India Readiness Guide, with over 100 case studies in September.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s dream project of smart cities has started taking shape and it has achieved a milestone in terms of the Union Cabinet´s green signal for Smart Cities Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). As part of this, the Cabinet has also approved Rs 48,000 crore and Rs 50,000 crore over the next five year for AMRUT project and smart cities project respectively.

Definitely, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government´s move will bring about a transition in the country´s urban landscape. It will evolve these urban spaces, making them more liveable. Apart from this, the private developers can explore the opportunities under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model since Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) will be created for carrying out city development plans. Under AMRUT, the new avatar of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the government will execute projects in 500 cities and towns having a population of one lakh or above. Now, the states will have greater flexibility in spending the money for supply of clean water, sanitation, solid waste management, efficient mobility, public transport, affordable housing, robust IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation as well as safety and security of citizens under this mission.

Under the smart cities project, each of the 100 cities can avail the central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years. These cities will be finalised through a ¨city challenge competition.¨ In the first phase of this project, the government will shortlist about 20 cities. Smart cities projects will get preference on area-based approach, consisting of retrofitting, redevelopment, pan-city initiatives, and development of new cities.

Taking this further, Smart Cities Council (SCC) India will launch India Readiness Guide with over 100 case studies in September and it will be a vendor neutral framework for smart cities.

SCC is the world´s premier consortium of smart city practitioners, with 100 plus members having revenues of over $1.5 trillion from over 140 countries. The consortium has an industry coalition to advance smart city development and innovation.

Talking about the initiative, Pratap Padode, the President of the Foundation of Infrastructure Research Studies Training (FIRST) & the Founder of the Smart Cities Council (SCC), says, ¨One of the first objectives of SCC India will be to recruit Indian smart cities experts to develop a unique readiness guide for India that will show how Indian cities can use smart technologies to accommodate large-scale growth and economic development. We would reply on the expertise of our partners extensively.¨

¨The Smart Cities Readiness Guide for India, developed by Indian smart cities experts who would be using local case studies, will enable city leaders and urban planners to understand the comprehensive framework of a smart city and take actionable steps towards major city infrastructure improvements,¨ he further adds. The India Readiness Guide will be based on the globally acclaimed Smart Cities Readiness Guide, consisting of 27 core principles for building smart cities and a bank of 5000 case studies of smart cities across the globe. The guide would be a single point of reference for gaining resources, and accommodating 100 best case studies in terms of smart practices adopted by various Indian cities.

Elucidating the benefits of smart cities, Padode states, ¨Such cities can see 20-30 per cent drop in crime, 20 per cent dip in congestion, 20-40 per cent more water, smart buildings, 10-30 per cent drop in energy use, and 10-40 per cent reduction in outages.¨

SCC India already has on its roster companies like Alstom, Bechtel, Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft and several others.

– SUPRIYA ABHIJEET OUNDHAKAR

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