– Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd
About The Author
Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.
Today, there is little doubt that the Indian economy has the potential to become the most successful one globally. However, its overall development has historically been shanghaied by lack of political will and the very slow growth of our infrastructure. With the arrival of the Modi Government, we can at last look forward to a more proactive approach to infrastructure development, which will definitely help in bringing on a new era of progress and change in India.
Among the most promising initiatives of the NaMo Government is the Smart Cities program. Recently, Pune has been added to the list of Smart Cities to receive the incentives under this plan, which effectively means that it will be provided central assistance to the tune of Rs 100 crore per year for the specific purpose of deploying infrastructure projects which will have definite and distinct larger public benefit.
Pune, the city as we know it today, is now on the verge of complete transformation. We are looking at a city that will literally be reinvented. Over time, Pune will see the arrival of assured electricity and water supply for every citizen, high-grade sanitation, pedestrian-friendly footpaths, non-motorised transport zones reserved exclusively for walking and cycling, vastly improved traffic management including smart parking solutions, more open spaces and encroachment-free public areas, and many other benefits.
But infrastructure is only one aspect. Among the several advantages of smart cities is the generation of employment – the single-most important element that can support the overall growth of the Indian economy. Also, smart cities bring in massive amount of investment, apart from creating healthy and comfortable living conditions for millions of people. And – very importantly – smart cities will have a tremendous boosting power for the the Indian real estate sector.
The Introduction Of Smart Cities In India
The initiative for smart cities began when Mr. Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, allocated Rs. 7060 crore in the last Union Budget to create of transform 100 cities into smart cities. The potential investments into these smart cities would cause India to reach heights that no other country in the world has touched so far.
Actually, a budget of Rs. 70 crore for every city falls quite short of what it would take to build an actual smart city – we are not just talking about mere townships. Mr. Jaitley has clarified that this budget is just the seed money require to trigger the work; the actual corpus of funds will have to be generated in collaboration with the private sector. This means participation by corporate and individual investors, who will supply the bulk of funding required to build smart cities from the ground up, or to transform existing cities into smart cities.
What Are Smart Cities All About?
Smart cities, by definition, are all about:
- Smart governance
- Smart buildings
- Smart energy
- Smart technology
- Smart infrastructure
- Smart mobility
- Smart healthcare
- Smart citizens
Every one of these parameters would require the private sector to offer technical expertise and manpower. It is estimated that by 2030, in excess of 600 million people will migrate to India’s urban landscape and smart cities would be the only solution to reduce the chaos. Further, going smart will support cleaner living standards, health and productivity without burdening our already depleting natural resources.
The success of smart cities will ultimately depend on the people running them. They will be responsible for the utilities like power, water, gas, etc. Smart cities will also provide an adequate number of hospitals, schools, workplace hubs, hotels and entertainment complexes. Overall, these cities should promote a completely optimized urban experience.
Smart cities will invariably change the very face of the Indian economy. Globally, there are just 26 smart cities and the Indian Government is now aiming to add four times this number. Consequently, there is an express need to boost important sectors like information technology, manufacturing and development.