100 smart city project design and implications govt policy of development

The recent Indian government led by Narendra Modi has promised to create hundred smart cities across the country for development of urbanization. India also partnered with Japan in this regard of development and some corporate has also shown interest in the project. But critics have something else to say.

According to some, this is a much hyped talk and would never actually see the light of the day. 

They are apprehensive about the project because-

1. Huge cost- the current government is finding tough to reduce the fiscal deficit. In this scenario, the question arises from where the government would get such a huge capital, when it is also not in a mood to increase taxes.

2. Slum and unauthorized colonies- It is not yet clear what would happen to slums on process of cities becoming smarter. Would they be ignored? If not, then how would it he possible to make them smart when they don't have proper roof over their head.

3. Time limit- the government has set a time limit for the project. It would not be a matter of few years to construct hundred smart cities.

Even though critics are apprehensive about the program, there are thinkers who believes in the project. Government needs to capture a lot of investment if it wants this project to move further.

You can add more concerns abt the smart city like e waste, cyber crime or cyber regulations, environmental effects etc feel free to share your thoughts in comment section below.

Smart city in one line can be defined as a city which uses intelligent technology and able to sustain under different environments that enable to live citizen of all denominations including elite and non elite to live confidently with dignity.

It is natural that change brings apprehension and insecurity among the people.This apprehension has some reasons

1)Government did not declare about the composition of smart city.This created various imaginations among the people.Government need to break the ice.

2)Media Hype:These apprehensions among the people are generated by media.Media need to play a constructive role not like this.

3)Uneducated , illiterate ,low skilled people are more insecure about the smart cities as they think that it can eat away their jobs.

4)Capitalist City: Apprehensions that need of huge capital turn the project into a capitalist project that juices out cost from the people.

We should not compare our beginning with someone’s middle.The concept of smart city is more than brick and mortar structures it is cosmopolitan,with stable life,raised standard of life.It accomadates all types of people.Rome is not built in one day.This transformation does not happen in sudden but gradual.

Developing 100 smart city is flagship programme of NDA government. With India’s economy and diplomacy developing at faster rate, many nations are more than eager to cooperate in building smart cities. Huge investments, high expectation are pipelined, which led to turning this initiative into an elitist concept i.e. out of reach of common public. Cooperations are coming from nations like Japan, Germany, Singapore and US which have already set benchmark in building smart city from scratch(Whitefield project) as well as renewing existing cities (Brownfield project). A common perception is in everyone’s mind that smart cities will be world class with lavish buildings, expensive infrastructures which is not entirely true.

Some valid reasons why such skeptics and apprehensions coming are:

(1.) Right now smart cities in India are Hi-Tech city of Hyderabad, Bangalore Electronic city and Mumbai financial district. This are build with huge investment and it is not possible for common public to avail facilities of those place because of high rent, expensive outlets. Hence, apprehension of cost and exclusivity of only elite are coming.

(2.) Wrong perception that, no small skilled job will be available there. Hence no place for semi-skilled or small jobs.

(3.) Perception that everything will be mechanised and automated from automated waste collection, retreating domestic water to automated buses. Such things involves knowledge transfer from developed nations.

(4.) Concept of Brownfield project which means same mediocre city will be transformed, hence the apprehension that where will all existing settlement and jobs will go ?

Smart city is about managing the tasks/infrastructures to use optimum energy, green energy, cleanliness and sustainability. It is wrong to think that such cities will lead to widening gap between common people and elite people.

Smart cities is one of the many important requirement of the day. Being Smart means having all facilities like digitally connected, efficient transport system, Efficient Energy system, Pollution Control, IT parks and many others. So a smart city should be inclusive. 
Current Govt. has emphasized a lot on building smart cities (100). Being an ambitious project it faces both criticism and applause. Lets try to find out how practical it is and what is the requirement of smart cities in India.

1. If we focus on the budget then the allocated budget during 2014 is not sufficient.

2. At present India’s most of the cities are highly ranked for being the most polluted cities in the world.

3. Only 8 of our cities Sewage is treated before disposing it to nature and that also not even 100% and not even 50%.

4. Quality health care is only available to a handful of people.

A smart city has to address all these problems. Building a Smart city from scratch is not a better solution as compare to make an existing city a Smart City. For developing the cities to smart the technical expertise that is required is not available in India. And we have to export that too. 

The requirement of a smart city is huge, we need inclusive effort not just from the govt. but from society too to make this effort sustainable.

Smart cities are those cities which provide basic civic amenities using ICT solution like in Surat which have online monitoring of water quality.

Problems associated with Smart cities development

-Crunch of investment- Low allocation in budget and interest shown by only 4 countries, Japan, Germany , US and Singapore. Not sufficient to develop 100 smart cities
-Land acquisition issues like that in Dholera, Gujarat will be a big hurdle to cross
-Inadequate power generation status will hamper developing and sustaining such smart cities
-Focus on Brownfield projects i.e development of same old cities will require greater effort due to uncoordinated and poor planning in the past
-Job loss, especially poor people: Smart cities also need to look towards inclusive development with scope for lower section of society to retain their settlement and jobs
-Need to club various govt's flagship programme like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Universal Health coverage etc to provide proper living condition
-Problems related to e-waste disposal, Cyber crimes regulation 
-Need to focus on Environment related issues from start only otherwise Smart cities might end up like Delhi or Mumbai-highly polluted

Though there are many issues related to Smart Cities. But being a smart, innovative approach which is ultimately looking to improve human living standard, it should be taken forward with proper planning, implementation and inclusive development.
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