Smart city projects face chal­lenges

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - ESTATES - HT Es­tates Cor­re­spon­dent ■ ht­es­tates@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The lack of a holis­tic, frame­work-based ap­proach and a vi­able rev­enue model are stalling large-scale smart city projects in India, ac­cord­ing to Gart­ner, Inc. As a re­sult, many small pilot projects are un­der­way, but no big city­wide projects have been an­nounced. Gart­ner pre­dicts that through 2020, less than 10% of smart city projects im­ple­mented across India will be of a large-scale, city-wide na­ture.

“While many In­dian cities have an­nounced smart city projects, a struc­tured ap­proach in se­lect­ing these projects has thus far been miss­ing from most city coun­cils,” says Ganesh Ra­mamoor­thy, re­search vice pres­i­dent at Gart­ner. Fund­ing for smart cites will also re­quire se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion. Gart­ner be­lieves that of the cur­rent fund­ing, only about 20% will be used for IT-based smart city prod­uct, so­lu­tion and ser­vice im­ple­men­ta­tion, while the re­main­ing 80% will be used for phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture development.

“The chal­lenge is the limited bud­get of the city coun­cil, which does not re­ally per­mit the city to build, op­er­ate, main­tain and sup­port the en­tire smart city in­fra­struc­ture,” says Ra­mamoor­thy. “The limited bud­get also lim­its the abil­ity of the city coun­cils to en­ter into a con­trac­tual agree­ment, which in­cludes a one-time im­ple­men­ta­tion fee, to build the ser­vice de­liv­ery in­fra­struc­ture,” he says.

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