Being one of the most booming democracies of the world, India has been a tough competition to all other developing countries. We, being the largest democracy in the world, need a strong institution that can help us not only in becoming a developed nation industrially but also to increase the quality of living as per the US standards (or for that matter, any developed country).
Modi government, in its second year has taken a step, has rather started implementing the ‘Smart City’ program. A ‘Smart City’ is a mission that is meant to focus on the most pressing needs in a particular city and on the greatest opportunities through careful planning. The Smart Cities initiative is a bold new ingenuity by the Government of India to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens.
The initiative sounds more like a government’s job- harnessing resources, putting them to optimal use, pressing on needs, so on and so forth. So why is there a different initiative altogether? It is because this initiative will channelize the efforts of all the City-planners, the field experts and the government too. A common platform where all the right individuals can come together and plan a city and make sure the people living there have a better standard of living post the mission.
And what is a better way to get something done than to change it into a competition? So, the government is now having a competition where top 100 cities will be chosen based on specific criteria and they will compete to become India’s first Smartest City. These cities will have to plan new transformations. Put them into practice, get things done and keep a check on how well the condition of the people has changed. For instance, Hyderabad is soliciting citizen feedback to improve service delivery; Surat has already improved its sanitization conditions while Rajkot is keeping a transparency to improve transport service.
This mission has for now become a platform for the Municipal Corporations and is expected to widen its horizon over the the time. Smart Cities will embrace ideas that have been proven elsewhere and customize them to meet genuine local needs. In turn, these efforts serve as exemplars, showing the way for others to follow. The city-planners are expected to explore, refine, and revise their ideas until they get it right.
The steps have been taken, it is now necessary to make sure these get implemented correctly so that a vision of Smart City that has been dreamt of becomes a reality.
Enlisted below are the 98 Smart city areas approved by the Govt. of India-
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Daman and Diu
New Town Kolkata