India has launched an ambitious programme of developing futuristic smart cities that will improve the quality of life through systematic planning and effective service delivery. Smart cities seamlessly integrate all infrastructure and utilities, leveraging the tremendous reach of smart infrastructure and integrated technology. The innovative services and technologies used enhance performance and wellbeing, help reduce costs and resource consumption and engage more effectively and actively with its citizens, says Vijay Kalantri, Chairman and Managing Director, Balaji Infra Projects Ltd.
The steady influx of population into the cities is exerting tremendous pressure on the cities’ infrastructure, eroding living conditions and threatening the ecological balance. Interest in smart cities is motivated by major challenges including climate change, economic restructuring, ageing population, resource depletion and pressures on public finances. This has impelled the creation of systems and networks to ensure optimum utilisation of resources.
Kalantri says, “The concept of smart cities is basically a progressive side of urban living, where the existing resources are integrated into a well- defined network to ensure minimum wastage and maximum comfort. The focus and aim is to deliver a happier lifestyle through integrated solutions, innovation and technology.”
“ICT (Information and Communications Technology) is the lifeline of a smart city. ICT can act as a platform to address challenges like urban migration, environmental degradation, climate change impacts, aging infrastructure and depleting resources,” says Kalantri.
Additionally, ICT also enhances interactivity of services to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to improve contact between citizens and city stakeholders. Therefore, it is important to add intelligence to the ICT framework in order to deliver a practicable, integrated and sustainable e-governance and public service network within the smart city for the benefit of its communities.
Construction activities leveraging Indian cities
In the present scheme of building smart cities in India, the role of construction industry has attained heightened importance. Smart buildings and structures have become a vital ingredient of smart cities. Planning, design and construction of future cities requires an integrated approach to achieve successful outcomes.
Kalantri adds, “To build the next generation cities, India’s construction industry needs to adopt new-age construction technology solutions, which are already being used extensively globally. Using the right technology will lead to astute planning, better utilisation of resources, lower project costs and timely completion of projects.”
With increasing emphasis on the adoption of technology in the construction sector, the onus is now on the industry to embrace cutting edge technologies and practices in order to play a judicious role in India’s urban transformation.
Information and Communications Technology can act as a platform to address challenges like urban migration, environmental degradation, climate change impacts, etc.
Vijay Kalantri, Chairman and Managing Director, Balaji Infra Projects Ltd