Are we really smart?
This is with reference to the editorial, "How smart is a smart city?" (August 1-15, 2014). Do we really need smart cities that serve the needs of the rich and neglect the poor, or do we need cities that can improve the quality of life of all its people? In talking about building 100 smart cities, the BJP government seems to have forgotten about the pollution that will be generated in developing the required infrastructure. While existing cities struggle for electricity and clean drinking water, smart cities will create new avenues for the real estate mafia and lead to more pollution.
S JEEVANANDA REDDY
The Centre for Science and Environment has again shown that it is possible to have practical and simple solutions to our urban ills. And this can be achieved at reasonable costs, with benefits in the health sector, reduced pollution, better living conditions and overall development of society. It is unfortunate that no one in the government is smart enough to understand the real meaning of "smart". Why is the default definition of the word assumed to be high-tech systems and services?
Upgrading small towns into smart cities will entail undesirable urban problems, like pollution, encroachment, loss of cultivable land and water bodies, displacement, unmanageable waste, influx of migrant labourers and lack of civic amenities. I hope the government addresses these issues while drawing up the action plan. In fact, smart villages should have got precedence over smart cities.