Shankar Aggarwal
Ministry of Urban Development

The Ministry of Urban Development has initiated the process of framing a policy for development of smart cities in the country.

At the recently-held National Real Estate Summit 2014 in New Delhi, which was organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Urban Development Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said that the policy on smart cities would soon be unveiled after deliberations with all stakeholders.

The policy on smart cities is being prepared with the objective of giving shape to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of building 100 smart cities. In the Union Budget 2014-15, a sum of Rs. 7,060 crore had been allocated for implementation of the dream project.

A city is considered smart when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory governance (Caragliu et al. 2009).

Elaborating on the strategy being adopted by the government to realise the Prime Minister’s vision of building smart cities, Aggarwal said builders and developers of smart cities would be adequately rewarded with incentives and tax sops. Around 90 percent of the investment needed to set up smart cities is expected to flow in from the private sector.

“The Prime Minister has already asked the Urban Development Ministry to make all possible attempts to drastically remove old and prototype procedures, replacing them with new set of reform oriented approach to develop new real estate as per guidelines of new policy under which creation of 100 smart cities would become practically possible as demanded and required by inhabitants of modern world,” said Aggarwal.

He pointed out that the smart cities would comprise smart Infrastructure such as roads, pedestrian pathways, public toilets, water and sewer networks, street lighting networks, signal systems, gas supply systems, solid waste management systems, drainage network and safety and security devices.

During the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Japan, a Partner City Affiliation MoU was inked for developing Varanasi as a smart city with the cooperation and experience of Kyoto. India’s Ambassador to Japan Deepa Wadhwa and Mayor of Kyoto Daisaku Kadokawa signed the pact. Kyoto is a smart city that has successfully incorporated modern features while preserving its heritage.

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