India’s Smart Cities Program

Industry-Comments-on-India's-Smart-Cities-ProjectRecently, prime minister Narendra Modi launched three mega urban schemes – Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All in urban area setting in motion the process of urban transformation.

The schemes would help urban poor through increased access to water supply, sewer connections, public transportation, housing, improved urban governance ensuring transparency and accountability and better delivery of services and enhanced employment opportunities.

For smart city development, each selected city will be provided central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year. Under AMRUT, allocation of funds will be as per urban population and number of cities/towns in each state/UT. The government is looking at PPP model as the main resource of resource mobilization.

Commenting on Smart Cities Mission, Dr Anand Agarwal, CEO, Sterlite Technologies said, “We are fully aligned with the government’s vision of creating smart cities as new engines for empowerment and growth. India is on the verge of the biggest technology revolution and as a leader in developing optical communication products and end-to-end digital solutions, Sterlite has the requisite capacities and capabilities to execute this vision.”

Speaking on Smart Cities Project, Anil Chaudhry, country president and managing director, Schneider Electric said, “The launch of the Smart Cities and AMRUT, in essence, will change the face of India’s municipal and social infrastructure. To support India’s growing population and provide housing to all, cities and towns need to be sustainable and liveable. In this aspect, integrated solutions to create an all-pervasive ‘smartness’ in the fields of transport and mobility, water management, building management and energy efficiency will play a critical role in shaping the government’s vision.”

We are quite upbeat that the Rs 3 lakh crore allocated by the government for this mission will induce active participation from all stakeholders,” added Chaudhry.

Koichiro Koide, MD, NEC India said, “What is commendable is that the three schemes together not only focus on developing 100 smart cities across different states but also commit to readying a few hundred more to become smart cities in the next phase, while making them better immediately for its citizens with better housing and urban transformation. This practical approach clearly indicates the intent of the government of an all-round development for all regions in the country.”

“With this step taken, the launch of the guidelines will help channelizing the resources, funds, expertise in the right direction and will act as a trigger in propelling the development of smart cities mission in India. We will continue to contribute to Indian smart cities mission creating “Solutions for Society,” and our reinvention as a “Social Value Innovator”, added Koide.

Anand Navani, country manager, Verint Systems India said, “Public private partnership will be key in taking this initiative further, residents along with city leadership will be instrumental in implementing Smart Cities across the country.”

“We at Verint Systems have been a part of the Smart City initiative in India from its inception and believe that this announcement highlight’s the central government’s renewed focus and commitment to the cause,” commented Navani.

The Narendra Modi government is planning to select 100 smart cities under the Smart Cities Mission through a two stage competition. In the stage-1 of city challenge competition, each state and union territory will score all their cities based on a set of criteria and nominate the top scorers as per the indicated number of potential smart cities for participation in the stage-2 of competition.

In the second stage, 20 top scorers will be chosen for financing during this financial year. The remaining would be asked to make up the deficiencies identified by the apex committee in the ministry of urban development for participation in the next two rounds of competition. 40 cities each will be selected for financing during the next rounds of competition.

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