An update on the Smart Cities’ Projects in India

 

In this update on Smart Cities, India, we bring to you the developments that have taken place over the last one year.

Work in progress:

After three years of implementation, projects under the Smart City program have been sluggish. As of March 2018, 92 cities had formed their Special Purpose Vehicles, the agency that carries out activities of the Smart Cities Mission; while 69 had appointed project management consultants. In July 2018, only 5% of the Smart cities projects had been completed, and only 2% of the total Rs. 9943 crore had been utilized. A couple of factors hampering the progress were land acquisition, enormous congestion in larger cities, and buy-in from unwilling stakeholders. Some cities such as Udaipur, Kochi, Guwahati, New Delhi Municipal Council have not even utilised 50% of their smart cities projects’ implementation funds. By the end of November 2018, projects worth only Rs 9,981 crore had been completed, while 50,221 crore are under implementation; and by December 2018, out of the total 5151 smart city mission projects, only 33% have been completed or are underway. It is clear that only 20 cities out of the total 100, maybe ready with most of their Smart City projects by 2021.

 

After three years of its implementation, projects under the Smart City program have been sluggish. As of March 2018, 92 cities had formed their Special Purpose Vehicles, the agency that carries out the activities of the Smart Cities Mission; while 69 had appointed project management consultants. A couple of factors hampering the progress seem to be land acquisition, enormous congestion in larger cities, and buy-in from unwilling stakeholders. Some cities such as Udaipur, Kochi, Guwahati, New Delhi Municipal Council have not utilized even 50% of their funds for the smart cities projects’ implementation. Out of the total 5151 smart city mission projects, only 33% has been completed or are underway. It is clear that only 20 cities out of the total 100, maybe ready by 2021.

City-wise specifics:

The progress is slow, chiefly due to financial hurdles, but some cities have seen progress with specific systems. 

Rajkot: As of April 2018, crime rate  in Rajkot reduced by 18%, along with a change in traffic challans indicating a shift in traffic sense. CCTV monitoring has led to lower occurrences of littering, and burning of garbage. 

Kakinada: In Kakinada, weather and air quality monitoring is being conducted by environment sensors along with lightning detection. 

Pune: Flood sensors have been installed in Pune for timely warning, and the nearest police stations can be contacted at the earliest with the help of emergency callboxes. 

Ahmedabad: By March 2018, Ahmedabad boasted of free Wifi along the  BRTS corridors, increasing ridership.

Vishakhapatnam: CCTV and GPS systems installed in buses in Vishakhapatnam are helping with ensuring safety and control of crime. 

Bhopal: Bhopal has begun to manage transport services online, while also improving on property tax collections.

Raipur: Raipur stands out with the introduction of a multi-utility Smart Card for its citizens. This card enables its citizens to pay for public and private services such as space booking and payment of parking tickets, retail payment, bus tickets, and municipal taxes.

Agra: In January, 2019, the latest city to have projects assigned is Agra. Prime Minister Modi launched projects worth Rs.2, 980 crore with the call for induction of ICCC, and the Gangajal project to provide a constant water supply to its citizens.

Also, under the smart cities mission, integrated command and control centers (ICCC) were to be set up which has only been implemented by 11 cities; while it is under construction in 29 cities and tenders are being processed for a further 21 cities. The ICCCs are designed to enable authorities to monitor the status of various amenities in real time. These centers are expected to control and monitor online power, water supply, integrated building management, waste management, sanitation, traffic movement, city connectivity and the internet infrastructure.

While we have seen an additional growth of 1 million people moving from rural/ semi rural India to urban India almost every month, the challenge continues to be the pace of resurgence. 

 

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