India’s mass urbanization project – smart cities, is going to be officially launched in June according to Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Last year, government has announced the plan for smart cities with project outlays of billions of rupees investment.
The project aims to fulfill the demand for modern facilities for the fast growing urbanization demand of the country. Pace of urbanization in the country was the quickest during the last decade.
Policy makers think that the smart cities are going to supplement with a number of industrial clusters that are on construction mode.
Experts at the same time cautioned about two important obstacles about the programme which is the largest in the world in terms of the size of the population it addresses. These are the difficulty in obtaining land and the second, the traditional fund constraint.
During the last year, the Modi government has put critical efforts in overcoming these two hurdles. A development and construction friendly land acquisition bill has been pending in front of the Parliament.
On the investment front, countries including Japan, China, South Korea and Germany have offered participation in the project.
Among the many proposed cities, Gujarat’s GIFT city is emerging as a quick model for the new smart cities. The 900 acre township near Ahmadabad is designed as a financial centre matching Dubai and Singapore.
The smart city idea is great and its execution will indicate the ability of the government to convert an idea into realty; though we should wait for even decades to see the result.