Smart City project: We start small so that it can be replicated, says govt

Speaking to The Indian Express, Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba said that since infrastructure is capital intensive, it has been allowed only under area-based development and not for the entire city.

Written by Shalini Nair | New Delhi | Updated: June 14, 2017 12:27 pm
Smart City project, small Smart City project, Ministry of Urban Development, Rajiv Gauba, ABD, Pan-city solutions, city development, indian express news, india news Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba

THE IDEA behind funnelling a majority of funds under the Smart City project into small pockets is to create replicable models for the rest of the cities, according to the Ministry of Urban Development which is in charge of the mission.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba said that since infrastructure is capital intensive, it has been allowed only under area-based development and not for the entire city.

“The idea of ABD is to initially start with a small part of the city, where it can be successfully done, and then replicate it in other places. Pan-city solutions are relatively less expensive and more technology-driven and hence can be done across the city. Both pan-city solutions and which areas will be taken up under ABD have been decided by the cities themselves and it has been done through a consultative process with the people,” he said. Read: Mapping expenditure: 80% Smart City funds for just 2.7% of city area

Gauba said that the mission is not about only spending the money allocated by the central and state governments. “This is just the seed money. Cities have to leverage the money that is being given as grant so as to get funds from other sources and do it in larger areas later,” he said.

Asked about maximum resources being channelled into small areas, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Urban Development said that in the limited mission period of five years, it would not be possible to make cities free of infrastructure deficit.

“This is the reason why our ministry has decided to go for small areas so as to guide the city governments on how to create lighthouse projects that are replicable. At the end of the five years, if the experience is unpleasant, we will go for a review,” said the official.

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  1. D
    Devendra Agarwal
    Jun 15, 2017 at 9:20 am
    Smart City Mission is not about only spending the money allocated by the central and state governments. “This is just the seed money. Cities have to leverage the money that is being given as grant so as to get funds from other sources and do it in larger areas later.” True and requires to be reinforced. This has to be translated into actual monitoring and control tool for implementation of Smart City Plans. Sofar the action shows that funds available with Smart Cities are utilised as supplementary resource of the ULBs to fund the projects as any other government grant. The recognition that each initiative has to be sustainable as an economic asset, is still to sink in. Taxation of SPV and its initiatives is another issue requiring attention for preservation of Seed Capital provided for this wonderful mechanism steered by GoI.
    Reply
  2. N
    nikal
    Jun 14, 2017 at 4:31 pm
    what smart city ? it become ugly city after 6 months
    Reply
  3. I
    imti
    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:38 am
    urban development money spent is just 10 of 800 cr money allotted, rest going to MLAs, MPs, urban bureaucrats and the goons who carry out shoddy work where pipelines lie broken and roads are dug up and filled with jelly for months, while bills have cashed long ago and sent to right people at the top (en lement Bakshis) - Poor people
    Reply
  4. M
    madhu
    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:15 am
    Your time is short. Nothing done last three years other than hype. What you can do next two years? Now you are saying you start with small. You guys are enjoying public money do something for people
    Reply