Hurdles in implementing smart cities mission

According to the Government of India, cities accommodate nearly 31 per cent of India’s current population and contribute 63 per cent of GDP. Urban areas are expected to house 40% of India’s population and contribute 75 per cent of India’s GDP by 2030. This requires comprehensive development of physical, institutional, social and economic infrastructure. Development of Smart Cities is a step in that direction.

Here are some of the challenges in developing and implementing smart cities according to Yash Mehta from IoT worm:

Channeling finance to smart cities: The total estimate of investment in smart city totals up to 7 lakh crore within a span of 20 years, which translates to an annual requirement of Rs. 35,000 crore. This is the case, assuming there’s a population of 1 million people in each smart city. Arranging for this is a huge challenge for the Government. One alternative is to go for public private partnership such that the local government bodies and private institutions can invest in the programme.

Quick approval and clearance: Any investment worth its salt is profitable only when made during the right time frame. Government institutions have conventionally been known to take undue amount of time in making approvals and clearances. This would work against the smart cities mission. One way is to speed up the process and other is to take the business online – a board can be set up to manage approvals for services like water, sewage, drainage systems, telecommunication lines, electrical lines, etc.

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