[Planning] Making Smart Cities in India

Technical progression at global scale has put more pressure on developing countries to improve their infrastructure and progress in other important areas for prosperity. Indian Prime Minister Mr. Modi
has vision to make smart cities in India to enhance the living of populace. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to build 100 smart cities in India therefore .government has made "comprehensive plan" for the management of urban green spaces. The NDA Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to develop smarts cities across India. In his election campaign in May 2014, Mr. Narendra Modi made promise to construct 100 smart cities all over India. This focus of his urban programme intends to help fast development of remote cities and major urban centres to become the attractions of overseas investment and jobs.

In various news report and documents it is demonstrated that the guidelines to recognize a city as the smart city will be prepared by the department of industrial policy and promotion. The standards for being recognised as a smart city must have three of the five infrastructure requirements such as energy management, water management, transport and travel, safety and security and solid waste management. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had strongly raised the issue of unemployed youths migrating from their home States to technologically developed cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bangalore to improve their lifestyle and gain prosperity which is causing huge economic problems. Such migration is greatly putting burden on the public facilities available in these cities as well as there is an issue of getting jobs to needy people. News reports revealed that India will need about 500 new cities to hold the huge arrival of population from rural or semi developed areas to the urban area. Visualizing the need for speedy urbanisation, the Government has made the vision to build hundred smart cities to make India manufacturing centre and for the rapid economic development.

The concept behind developing the smart cities is to create highly advanced urban regions in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. When reviewing earlier literature, it has been found that the urbanization of the universal population is executed but a major trend which started centuries ago and will persist in the future. Presently, people are facing new challenges as the urban population becomes richer, enthusiastic to travel and more demanding in terms of happiness such as the lessening or control of pollution due to increasing activity, balancing the ease of individual transport and its consequences on traffic blockage, the need for security while preserving privacy, the need for instant information on any situation all within the land of a reduced taxation system.

There is an effective plan to develop smart cities. Essential services to the people living in these cities will be given through information technology. In developing smart cities, government players and other parties have to face many challenges. Main requirement is on part of residents, entrepreneurs and visitors who are required to be vigorously involved in energy saving and execution of new technologies and also to make residential, commercial and public spaces sustainable with the help of technology. If this magnificent project to develop of smart cities becomes triumphant, it will bring positive change and assist in growth of Indian economy.

Prime Minister Mr. Modi has realized that making cities smarter and safer is a necessity to defeat the saturation threshold due to urban population development. The unparalleled rate of this urban growth creates a need to manage and recognize such challenges. Information and communication technology is an enabler in Smart City projects; the execution of the necessary layers related to ICT services is usually determined by drivers behind the project and those who begin it.

Many stakeholders are involved in a Smart City development and each project is also stimulated by array of drivers:
  1. Construct or invent a new economic model (the economic driver)
  2. Reduce energy consumption (the eco-sustainability driver)
  3. Improve the quality of life in a city environment (the social driver)
Regardless of numerous factors that must be taken into consideration, Smart Cities offers feasible business prospect to the environment such as utilities, real estate companies and public sector which are active in today's projects.

To fulfil this vision, the Smart Cities task is offering to city people, workers and visitors, the most current and viable telecom and non-telecom services and systems. As part of setting up Smart City services, a variety of business models and approaches to provide, supply, operate and manage the Smart City services will be explored. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the determined smart cities project which he wants to execute in order to provide great facilities to people. He wants chosen cities, after their identification, to take up some easily doable items and a few smart solutions rather than taking up a mega wish list as it was earlier visualized in the draft concept note. Numerous reports indicated that the PM also wants such cities to recognize people living below poverty line and jobless so that targets for poverty mitigation and unemployment can be acknowledged.

In BJP vision document, it is determined by the government that Delhi will be developed into a "global city" and the country's first 'smart city' will be established to facilitate it with all modern facilities. Basically in smart cities plan, education, employment and entertainment are considered to be the major factors which compelled people to move about from rural areas to metropolitan centres. Opportunities of education, employment and entertainment are available mostly in urban and semi-urban centres therefore many people migrate to such areas to make their life more comfortable.

Principles of smart cities:

News reports have revealed that there are five principles that can serve as an agenda for a U.S.-India partnership on smart cities which are mentioned below:

1. A smart city should be economically-driven, not technology-driven:

In the advanced technology environment, technical approach to build smart city without a comprehensible map of a city's future direction, may not be very successful in bringing transformation in community. It has been established that without viable business and economic plan, cities cannot maximize growth and offer high class facilities. It entails that initial step is to generate self-awareness. Each Indian smart city should develop or renew a strategic plan for expansion and planners must have clear goals toward job expansion and output, financial inclusion, and sustainability and flexibility. The plan should be such that measure strengths and weaknesses, and generate strategies that leverage exclusive industry specializations, modernism, education and skills development, land and infrastructure, and governance and public services. For example, Edmonton, Canada is a main player in this area who used technology programs all through the six strategic plans contained in its City Vision 2040 attempt to devise and accomplish the long-term monetary strategy of city.

Such a wide-ranging planning approach addresses a major fault in the existing market. The typical programme is for private firms to approach cities with accessible solutions. However, both cities and firms often find this yields unproductive results, even though both agree the solutions could progress their cities. According to the November 2014 report from McKinsey on granular growth opportunities in India, it is recognized the 29 states and their cities are experiencing dissimilar growth paths. This indicates that technology solutions are not feasible and will differ in each marketplace. It is imperative to devise powerful economic vision on cities and understand the demands of products and solutions. According to demands, leaders must adopt policies.

This is not an insignificant proposal for Indian cities which do not have effective civic infrastructure to build such a contemporary planning outline. The Modi government along with the huge U.S. industry may capable of offering resources, technical support, and private sector expertise to the smart cities, particularly in more influential states, to make certain that a vision and plan exists to direct technology investments and infrastructure.

2. Each smart city should have a chief innovation officer to guide and coordinate investments:

Some cities have selected smart city managers whether known as chief technology, innovation, information, or sustainability officers tasked with deploying new technology across departments while bringing in private‐sector technology and knowledge especially regarding physical development. These persons normally report directly to city, state, or senior regional leaders, and their directives often involve working along with other agency's management or information technology managers. Single contact and expert for government also ensures that multiple smart city projects and investments are coordinated, aligned with the city's financial plan, and gives precision for the private sector. The Indian government must think issuing a competitive challenge of funding for which cities would be relevant to hire a chief smart city officer.

3. Smart city development should facilitate India's own technology and innovation capabilities:

It has been seen that primary ambition might be to open up India's cities to investors and industry leaders at global scale which should lead to the expansion of India's native innovation and technology commune. The establishment of state-of-the-art smart cities throughout India is an opportunity to develop a group of India-based innovation firms and private enterprises, rooted locally or countrywide. Such firms could work along with U.S. based businesses and specialists or be subcontracted by government to assist design, build, operate, and maintain the smart city systems that get shaped. There are large numbers of youths in India, the smart cities initiative could also provide more training and job opportunities for young adults, many of whom naturally incline toward technology-based jobs.

With such approach, smart cities should not be considered as a one-time investment to improve city system. Instead, there should be stages to provide new services and facilitate the appearance of new innovation, industries and jobs.

4. The smart city partnership should result in new state or national enabling frameworks to scale innovation and foreign investment:

Modi's major aim is to work to accomplish economies of scale from this primary smart city investment through the best approaches in one city and then he can effortlessly transferred to and replicated in other cities. In 2014, new specifications from the International Standards Organization established a new set of city performance indicators for smart cities and a universal approach for measuring them. Next to the national government, states in India could be accountable to guarantee these standards are constantly applied in order to measure smart city efficiency and compare Indian cities. Implementation of these new standards will assist to speed up the absorption of progressive investments and develop the size of the market.

5. India should ensure that its smart city partnership is a model of transparency and citizen engagement:

The smart city proposal also has the potential to improve India's reputation for dishonesty and discrimination. While these are massive challenges to beat, smart city technologies deep-seated in principles of transparent government and engaged voters.


Main features of Modi's '100 Smart City' Project:

According news reports, following are key attributes of smart city which is the dream project of Mr. Modi
  • Automatic traffic signal: In case of heavy traffics routes will be automatically diverted.
  • Better Public transport facility: To decrease traffic on roads, there will be enhancement in existing public transport system.
  • Quick accident relief: In case of accident or problem in vehicle, people will get help in just one call. They can also take help through CCTV too.
  • Smart Traffic system: This system is already implemented in Bangalore city. Taking guidance from London's Smart Traffic System, people will get the information regarding heavy traffic in advance.
  • Data Centre: The main characteristic of Smart City projects will be Data Centre. It will have detailed information about the city.
  • Face Identification System to snitch criminals: Getting inspiration from Paris, the Smart City will develop the facility of Face Identification System in place to nab criminal. The photos and DNA of criminals and suspects will be entered in computer and information and this will also be shared with other cities. After the scanning face, an alert message will be sent to police control room and this message will be forwarded to adjacent police station so criminals can be nabbed without difficulty. This system will assist to control growing crime on the road.
  • Control Room: There will be an incorporated control room for crime, health, services and traffic for better synchronization to offer quick help to persons. It is recommended that Indian leaders must have to provide roadmap of smart city through a simple language and discover innovative techniques to stimulate public interest. Experts state that effectual marketing may assist to educate populace about new smart city enhancements and their concrete costs and benefits. Briefly, greater precision in new technologies and infrastructure will guarantee that transformations involve is to benefit the commune. In September 2014, when Mr. Modi met President Barack Obama, they agreed that U.S. industries will work as major partners with India to develop three of those cities Ajmer (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh). The speed of urbanization, together with pressures from climate change and economic stress, has created demands for new, more competent ways of operating. Thus, ambitions to make "smarter" cities with the use of information and digital infrastructure to deal with the energy and water use in buildings to the creation of intelligent transport networks to reduce overcrowding is highly identified. With reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat Model of Development which has been unique, it is anticipated that the project for developing 100 super cities will be highly successful. At last, it can be said that new strategy of Modi has created enthusiasm amongst industry directors and urban leaders to enhance the status of cities in coming years. But it depends on the honest approach of leaders and business players who can develop good city policy that can bring desired outcomes such as more sustainable, more prolific and better-governed cities. Both smart and conventional cities require strong and efficient local institutions to do well.

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