The development of smart cities is spearheaded by the Smart Cities Mission which is an innovative and new initiative by the Government of India. The mission aims to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by promoting local development and using technology as a means to create a better livelihood, quality and standard of life and better delivery of civic facilities for citizens. The strategy of the mission is to create a Pan-city initiative in which at least one Smart Solution is applied all across the city. It also aims to develop areas step-by-step using three models of area-based developments namely Retrofitting, Redevelopment and Greenfield approach.
The Smart City Mission aims to cover 100 cities in duration of five years (FY2015-16 to FY2019-20). Based on an evaluation to be done by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) the Mission may be continued beyond 2020 after incorporating the learning into the Mission. The distribution of the 100 Smart Cities across the different states and UTs of India is on the basis of equitable criteria. The criteria give equal weightage (50:50) to urban population of the State/UT and the number of statutory towns in the State/UT. This formula guarantees a certain number of potential Smart Cities for each State/UT and each State/ UT would have at least one. The number and distribution of potential Smart Cities from each State/UT has an upper limited as indicated.
The smart cities program presents an opportunity for countries and organizations in exploring investment and collaborative opportunities with Indian government. The attention on core infrastructure services such as adequate clean water supply, sanitation and sold waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, affordable housing, power supply, robust IT connectivity, governance, particularly e-governance and citizen participation will provide a growth opportunity for companies operating in these areas. The government's focus on Public Private Partnership (PPP) allows the private sector to bring in its capacity to innovate and also gain market opportunities. Another opportunity is for greater involvement of the private sector in the delivery of services.
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