Cabinet decision to spend Rs 48000 crores for building smart cities and another 50000 crores rupees for the modernization of existing cities is a mega project. Only the NHDP in the past matches the present city development project.
Now, converting the idea from paper to practical is a herculean task. Especially, more than money, securing land will be the real issue. How the government can secure large quantity of land in Indian cities that are many centuries old?
The answer is that government should enact a strong land acquisition act like the present one.
Creation of smart cities definitely requires social sacrifice from the part of the people who owns land. That is the story in all countries. For India also, to acquire industrial progress and modernization, use of land for public purposes like city development is an unavoidable choice.
The almost Greenfield smart cities requires release of many land types-agricultural as well as commercial.
In other Asian countries like China and Singapore government developed infrastructure by holding command over land acquisition. India is a different scenario. Already, the land bill which is rightly strong in ensuring land for projects that have economic importance, has been booed down by the political opponents.
If the land bill opens infrastructure development opportunities for the country, it also provides political opportunity for the opposition while blocking it. The opposition is in no mood to leave the opportunity they have got.
No political parties in the past had unutilized such an offer. So, this time also the political class becomes a burden for the long term benefit of the country.