100 New Smart Cities Planned
On 26th May 2014 new government at centre have been formed with a massive mandate. Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu, the new Union Minister for Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has said that the topmost priority of his ministry will be to set up 100 new smart and safe cities in the country. He emphasised that the thrust of the ministry will be to create self sustaining brand new cities throughout the country. He aims to provide housing to the masses by 2020. In housing sector he urged the Public Private Partnership (PPP) as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will be encouraged. The minister elaborates that the corporate, housing finance institutions, banks etc. must give easy loans to their employees to fulfill their housing needs. This must be done as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. For new cities the first thing to do is to create sustainable infrastructure. To create new cities first the ministry is to identify and pin point the open areas around big cities and first provide roads, drainage, electricity, drinking water and other social infrastructure like educational institutions, health care, recreational spaces and places for social and religious activities. The ministry can take examples of CIDCO in public sector and Lavasa in private sector. The new cities should have ample opportunities for trade and commerce so that people settling in new cites are self sufficient and they don’t have to travel far for daily needs and employments. The concept of developing new cities is not new and has been successfully implemented in the past. Chandigarh in Punjab is the example of well planned new city, catering to all the needs of residents. The government and managing authorities needs to be “real estate friendly” and for this bureaucrat need to be fast tracked. Real estate industry, real estate developers, investors, consultants and professionals are waiting positive and definite moves. The first thing in this direction is to recognise real estate development as the industry which is long overdue. A clear cut and well orchestrated plan should be made by the government for creation of new cities with creation of complete infrastructure needed for the brand new cities.