Government has taken initiative to build smart cities i.e. developing areas near major urban centres by providing civic amenities like transport, malls etc.
As the global population continues to grow at a steady pace, more and more people are moving to cities every single day. Experts predict the world’s urban population will double by 2050.
Urban areas also contribute a higher share of GDP. In India, the urban population is currently 31% of the total population and it contributes over 60% of India’s GDP. It is projected that urban India will contribute nearly 75% of the national GDP in the next 15 years. Cities are accordingly referred to as the engines of economic growth.
There is accordingly a crying need for the cities to get smarter to handle this large-scale urbanization and finding new ways to manage complexity, increase efficiency, reduce expenses and improve quality of life.
The key features of a Smart City are the intersection between Competitiveness, Capital and Sustainability. The smart cities should be able to provide good infrastructure such as water, sanitation, reliable utility services, health care; attract investments; transparent processes that make it easy to run a commercial activities; simple and on line processes for obtaining approvals and various citizen centric services to make citizens feel safe and happy.
The U.S. has agreed to partner with Indian in developing three smart cities in Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.
India and United States signed three Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) on President Obama’s visit to give a boost to the Centre’s flagship ‘smart cities’ scheme.
As per the pacts, the U.S. will assist the cities in project planning, infrastructure. development, feasibility studies and capacity building. The State Governments for their part will provide resources like technical information and data related to smart cities planning; staff, logistical and travel support and budgetary resources.