India to build 100 new smart cities

Mr. Nerandra ModiThe Indian Prime Minister Mr. Nerandra Modi has decided to invest $1.2 billion along with funding from private investors for building 100 ‘smart cities’ with high-tech communication all over the country. He expressed that with the need and demands of the hour we need to transform our outlook. Earlier cities were built on river-fronts, then they were built on highways and now cities are based and built on availability of optical fiber networks and next-generation infrastructure.”

He feels that building new cities will balance a number of urban concerns such as population and like China these smart cities will centerpiece their own policies.

In a country where people are living without basic infrastructure, such plans seem to be a little daring. But the prime minister is confident that smart cities will transform old cities gradually and solve urban problems.

Cities will be guided by sensors monitoring water levels, energy usage, traffic flow; security cameras will send direct data to the administrators. Residents will be able to navigate traffic through apps and report day to day problems such as pot holes and can vote and even garbage collection will be fully automated.

These cities will have detailed planning from the outset and will not let problems like overcrowding or pollution affect them as they are starting from scratch with more systematic processes.

Cities worldwide in South Korea, UAE and China have already been working on smart cities and China has already invested $8 billion for improving its technology infrastructure in its smart cities.

It has not been specified yet as to when and where the smart cities will be built. Some planning has already started in the $100 billion Delhi-Mumbai corridor where a high tech industrial zone will be built anchored by a major freight line and spanning six states.

Many planned cities include Special Economic Zones; Special Investment Regions luring foreign investors with relaxed regulations such as reduces taxes.

Smart cities are mostly being funded by foreign developers like 26 percent of the Delhi-Mumbai corridor is being funded by a Japanese investor. The foreign Minister of Singapore has offered to build a smart city and the U.K. companies will also invest in the Indian markets as British Chancellor George Osborne extended a 1 billion pound on behalf of his country’s investors.

All smart city projects will end by 2020. With positive support from investors, many low lying farming areas likely to get affected in the process of construction will be given adequate service.

Smart city projects have already taken off in Gujarat. The smart city project Gujarat International Finance Tec-City which is build based on the Wall Street. Dholera built on 920 sq. km. is a panned city in the south of Gujarat and will be a home for 2 million by 2040. The city will have golf courses, solar panels, a new airport and a waterfront of space-age architectural designs.

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Edition 69July 2014

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