Has your city made it to the smart cities list?
Ghaziabad, Karnal and Faridabad make it to the list of 98 smart cities in the national capital region (NCR) but real estate experts say that their successful development depends on effective implementation and monitoring at both the central and state leve
With the union minister of urban development Venkaiah Naidu declaring the nominations of 98 cities for the smart cities programme, real estate experts say their successful development will rest on their effective implementation and monitoring both at the central and the state levels and call for active participation by the private sector.
Out of 98 cities announced, 24 are capital cities, 24 are business and industrial centres,18 are of cultural and tourist importance, five are port cities and three are education and healthcare hubs. As many as 12 cities have been shortlisted from Uttar Pradesh and include Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra and Rampur. In Haryana, Karnal and Faridabad have made the cut.
The Centre has earmarked 48,000 crore for development of 100 smart cities. Each smart city would get a Central assistance of
100 crore per year for five years. The cities were selected through an intra-city competition and were evaluated on parameters such as service levels, financial and institutional capacity, past track record and reforms.
“It is a very positive initiative and we trust there will be a concrete action plan to make this ambition possible. The private sector is already well-versed in making smart real estate developments which boast of all the ingredients a smart city must have, and must certainly be coaxed into partnership with respective state governments to contribute in every way possible towards this initiative,” says Getamber Anand, president, CREDAI National.
Anshuman Magazine, chair- man & MD, CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd, says that “the successful development of these smart cities will now hinge on their effective implementation and monitoring at a Central as well as state levels. Huge fund mobilisation, government capacity building at the state and city levels and public private partnerships will be required for development of these cities. This can be a game changer for India as it can stimulate economic growth, besides improving the quality of lives of millions of people.”
As per the profile of the selected cities, 35 cities and towns have a population between one and five lakh. There are 21 cities with population ranging between five and 10 lakh. As many as 25 cities have population of above 10 lakh and below 25 lakh. A set of five cities are in the population range of 25 to 50 lakh. Four cities – Chennai, Greater Hyderabad, Greater Mumbai and Ahmedabad have a population of above 50 lakh each.
“The implementation challenges for the cities with popu- lation below 1 lakh would be somewhat different from the large cities. While complexities would be higher in the large cities, the main constraint for the smaller cities is likely to be their technical capacity in areas like urban planning, financial management, engineering, procurement and programme management etc. It is here that state governments may need to think of some common support mechanism for fast tracking implementation,” says Arimdam Guha, senior director, Deloitte in India.
“The announcement of the list of 98 cities is a small step in the entire smart city dream. Based on the current contours of the smart city scheme, inclusion in the list merely provides a city access to some additional financial resources over a five-year period. With most state governments facing severe budgetary constraints and finances of most municipalities being in a precarious condition, it remains to be seen how the smart city scheme becomes financially sustainable,” he adds.
The announcement is a positive step forward. The next step would be to identify the first set of 20 cities that will get 500 crore of budgetary support. This money is only seed funding to jumpstart the process of t ransfor mation of Indian cities. It would be critical to transform the governance structures to enable a sustainable city transformation, adds JaijitBhattacharya, partner, Infrastructure and Government Services, KPMG in India.