Industry seeks effective implementation of Smart City projects

Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu with Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, Ananth Kumar showing the list of cities chosen for its Smart Cities project at a press conference in New Delhi

Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu with Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, Ananth Kumar showing the list of cities chosen for its Smart Cities project at a press conference in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Real estate industry has hailed the announcement of 98 Smart Cities, but said the government should aggressively focus on effective implementation of these projects to stimulate economic growth and improve quality of urban life.

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) also demanded that the private sector should be roped in to realize this mission.

The Centre released the names of 98 cities selected for the Rs 48,000-crore mega Smart Cities project. The remaining two names are pending.

Uttar Pradesh has the maximum of 13 cities to be developed as smart cities, followed by 12 in Tamil Nadu, 10 in Maharashtra and 7 in Madhya Pradesh.

“It is a good initiative by the government but this should be followed through aggressively so that the implementation of Smart Cities become a reality. Private sector should be roped in to realize this mission in whatever way possible,” CREDAI President Getamber Anand said.

Property consultant CBRE’s South Asia CMD Anshuman Magazine said the successful development of these Smart Cities would now hinge on their effective implementation and monitoring at both central as well as state levels.

“Huge fund mobilization, government capacity building at the state and city level 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 improve the quality of life for millions of people,” Magazine added.

Another realty consultant JLL India’s Managing Director (Infrastructure Services) Shubhranshu Pani said the smart city initiative would give a much-needed boost to the cities and improve the infrastructure livability quotient of urban India.

“More importantly, it will boost employment because of the new projects being executed, which in turn will improve the country’s GDP. The phased approach of deployment, starting with 24 this year and 40 next year and so on is definitely the right way to go,” Pani added.

The JLL official also said that many of the Smart Cities projects would need significantly more funding than initially envisaged by the government.

“The scale of funding will be as high as 20-40 times the resources allocated by the government. Many urban local bodies are not geared up for this to raise that much public money, as their books are in deficit and loss. Superior funding mechanisms have to be brought out,” he added. -PTI

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