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India Builds 'Smart City' Where Routine Is a Luxury Elsewhere

Image: India Builds 'Smart City' Where Routine Is a Luxury Elsewhere
An aerial view of a site under construction at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, at Gandhinagar, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, April 11, 2015. (Amit Dave/Reuters/Landov)  

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 12:22 PM

Outside of Gandhinagar in the state of Gujarat, India is building its first "smart city," complete with state-of-the-art office and residential towers, drinking water on tap, automated waste collection and a dedicated power supply to meet future urban needs.

Most of those things are luxury items to most residents of India, but officials hope to build as many as 100 smart cities by 2022, reported Reuters. The cities are expected to meet the needs of India burgeoning urban population, expected in increase more than 400 million people to 814 million by 2050.

"Most (Indian) cities have not been planned in an integrated way," said Jagan Shah, director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs. The institute is leading the way in establishing guidelines for the new developments with the government.

"To get the private sector in, there is a lot of risk mitigation that needs to happen because nobody wants a risky proposition," Shah added.

Govtech.com reported that the Swiss engineering group ABB is currently developing smart city segments.

Laurent Schmitt, vice-president of automation and smart grid solutions for the French energy and transportation firm Alstom, told Govtech.com that the smart city concept presents a significant opportunity for India.

"Currently, the automation and (information technology) solutions part of the global smart grid market is worth approximately $30 billion, which is poised to increase to $60 billion by 2020 and India would be more than 15 percent of the worldwide market in these domains," Schmitt told Govtech.com.

Jaijit Bhattacharya, partner of infrastructure and government services at consulting firm KPMG, told Govtech.com that the state governments would have to be the driving force for successful developments of smart cities in India.

"The draft concept note on smart cities is out," Bhattacharya told Govtech.com. "States would take the lead and the rollout would be state-wide. A program management team will be created soon to create the smart city framework."

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Outside of Gandhinagar in the state of Gujarat, India is building its first "smart city," complete with state-of-the-art office and residential towers, drinking water on tap, automated waste collection and a dedicated power supply to meet future urban needs.
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2015-22-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 12:22 PM
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