Smart Cities part of a larger agenda
India is all set to become the most populous country in the world by 2030, making it home to the biggest and the most underpenetrated market for global manufacturers and service providers. Unlike its preceding generations, this growing population is also shifting to top tier cities giving rise to new megacities estimated to generate 80% of economic growth, with potential to apply modern technologies and infrastructure, promoting better use of scarce resources
As per estimates, about 25-30 people will migrate every minute to major Indian cities from rural areas in search of better livelihood and lifestyles. With this momentum, about 843 million people are expected to live in urban areas by 2050.
India’s Smart City Programme rests on eight critical pillars like: Smart Governance, Smart Energy, Smart Environment, Smart Transportation, Smart IT & Communications, Smart Buildings, Smart Health and Smart Education. With this context, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for ‘Digital India,’ has set an ambitious plan to build 100 smart cities across the country. The Government of India (GOI) allocated INR70.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) for Smart Cities in the 2014-15 Budget. A few smart cities are already coming up across the country, including Kochi Smart City, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Ahmedabad, Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Lavasa in Maharashtra and Wave Infratech’s 4,500-acre Smart City near New Delhi.
India’s Smart City plan is part of a larger agenda of creating Industrial Corridors between big metropolitan cities in India. These include the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor and the Bangalore- Mumbai Economic Corridor. It is hoped that many industrial and commercial centres will be recreated as ‘Smart Cities’ along these corridors. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which is spread across six states, seeks to create seven new smart cities as the nodes of the corridor in its first phase.