The government of India recently launched its much awaited ‘Smart Cities’ project. The Modi government at the centre has been advocating the smart city initiative long before it came to power and the list of cities to be included was finally unveiled.
In its first budget, the government had allocated only INR 7000 crores for the project, but in the budget announced this year, the government allocated INR 48,000 crores, showing its commitment to the ambitious initiative.
Around 31% of the country’s populations lives in cities and contributes 63% of the country’s revenue. The urban population figure is expected to reach 50% in the next 15 years. The government is keen on developing this project in anticipation of this huge growth.
Smart Cities Project
The government has listed 100 cities that will be integrated with smart technologies. Each of these cities will get INR 100 crore every year for the next five years. The project will be incorporated across different cities, including state capitals, metro cities, and cities with a population of over 10 lakhs. The government will also be setting up satellite cities around all the metro cities.
The government has selected the highest number of 13 cities from Uttar Pradesh followed by 12 from Tamil Nadu. Next is Maharashtra with 10 cities, Madhya Pradesh with 7 cities, and Gujarat and Karnataka with 6 cities each. Apart from the 100 listed in the initial phase, more cities will be added to the list. In the Mumbai region, the private real estate company has also put forth ambitious plans for the creation of a smart city in Kalyan.
The smart city initiative will help to save energy, facilitate transportation, and make governance efficient. It is designed to achieve all round development and convenience.
Future of India
The huge budget, large number of cities involved, and the government’s vision will transform the face of urban areas all across the country. The project will be expanded in the future to make towns and villages smart, too. The entire country will be integrated and connected with smart technologies.
Under the initiative, different State governments are planning to work on varied infrastructural projects. Smart heritage cities, smart railways, smart ports, smart armed force stations, smart aerotropolis, and so on will be developed across the country. This highlights the scope and significance of the smart cities initiative.
The government has now understood that digitization is the key to future growth and it aims to exploit digital technology to create an inclusive economy and a better future for its citizens.