The government of India has finally identified and prepared a list of smart cities, which will be revealed on June 25 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Developing 100 smart cities is the dream project of Prime Minister Narenda Modi which he announced from the historical Red Fort on last year Independence Day. During American President Barack Obama’s visit to India 3 cities were listed to be developed as smart cities by help of USA. These were Ajmer, Vishakhapatnam and Allahabad.

It was announced by Union minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation, M Venkaiah Naidu that the list of 100 cities has been finalized and it will be made public by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25. Avoiding taking the name of any selected city he said one city in every state will be covered under this project, along with union territories. Thus, everybody will be given proper opportunity to grow as much as possible.

smart cities images
smart cities images

With the change of the government at the centre, there has been a lot of buzz about smart cities. In fact, the 100 smart cities initiative is the dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.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 the basis for providing essential services to residents. There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres. Though this may sound futuristic, it is now likely to become a reality as the ‘smart cities’ movement unfolds in India.

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. They benefit everybody, including citizens, businesses, the government and the environment.

On being asked by reporters about Chandigarh, Naidu said: “Chandigarh is already a smart city on many counts, and we in fact take the example of Chandigarh for other cities. I cannot reveal any name right now, because the Prime Minister has to launch the scheme, but I can surely say that every state will get its due under this scheme, which we are coming up with a PPP model. It is a cheerful development for us that more than one- and-a-half dozen countries, including the USA, have agreed to contribute to this project.”

Naidu did not give any direct answer when asked about affordable housing schemes in Chandigarh for the middle class, but said his ministry with the collaboration of the finance ministry was working on it. “We have been coming up with various schemes for the benefit of states. We will ask states and cities to identify or choose areas where they want work to be done. Funds will be sanctioned under these schemes on priority, like for water, sanitation, power, or any other sphere, without any bias,” he said.

Some Challenges involved in ‘Smart Cities Project’

Yuvayana News has searched out some of the challenges involved in developing smart cities in India. The concept of smart cities is not without challenges. As the cabinet approval marks the first of many steps that will be required for the project, the real challenges start now. Of course there is no doubt that this has created tremendous enthusiasm amongst many possible stakeholders, including service providers who have been part of smart city projects elsewhere in the world. Countries such as Japan, Singapore and Germany, among many others, have evinced interest to be a part of this. Yet, in its scale and complexity the project will be second to none.

Creating a smart city isn’t just about creating the physical infrastructure — roads, clean water, power, transport and so on, things India finds difficult to deliver to its citizens nearly seven decades after Independence. It is hoped that public private partnerships (PPP) will deliver but the mechanism seems to need a lot of tweaking in order for it to work, a fact acknowledged in the recent Budget. The big challenge will be to create self-sustaining cities, which create jobs, use resources wisely and also train people read more..

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