As the opportunity levels in the Indian cities are on constant rise, a huge population is seen migrating from rural India to urban India. This paradigm shift is resulting in population explosion in the cities causing adverse impact on its residents and resulting in deterioration in standard of living due to excessive burden on existing amenities.
Such rapid rise in urbanization has been taken up as an opportunity by the Government of India and as an endeavor to combat the situation, central government has announced development of 100 smart cities all over the country in a phased manner. These cities shall be responsible to accommodate the rising population while maintaining a good lifestyle for its residents.
A smart city is one that has basic infrastructure facilities, extensively uses information and communication technology to create smart amenities and solutions, provides a healthy environment and results in a good standard of living that is sustainable in nature.
Infrastructure includes affordable and good quality housing built on green building concept, continuous water and power supply, solid waste management, sewage and water treatment plants, efficient public transport with intelligent traffic management systems, excellent education facility, good healthcare, governance and security for all residents and much more. Real time data shall be captured and actively monitored in these cities to in build cost effectiveness into the system.
100 smart cities have been shortlisted of which 20 cities shall be selected for development this year and 40 each shall be developed in the next two years. Rs. 48,000 crores has been allocated towards the project by the central government that shall be spread over the next five years. Balance funding has to be raised through PPP model and foreign investments.
Dholera Special Investment Region in Gujarat, spanning 920 square kilometers is the first smart city that has been selected for development in India. Construction of trunk infrastructure components has been allocated a budget of Rs. 2,784 crore (appx) by the central government and shall be built on an activation area of 22.5 square kilometers. Work on this shall commence in 2015-16 and is likely to get completed by 2018-19.