Woes of finance, digital security stare at smart cities


With increasing number of people migrating towards urban India, cities need better sanitation, transport, electricity supply, affordable housing, digitisation & IT connectivity, that has led to the ‘smart city’ concept.

“Smart city infrastructure requires technological installations at various strategic locations for data capture or monitoring. Hence, the upkeep and safety of gadgets will always remain a challenge due to vandalism risk. However, agencies are ensuring mitigation of such risk,” says Ratan Lal Kashyap, Sr. Vice President –Procurement, G R Infraprojects Ltd.

What’s thwarting development
Financing is said to be one of the biggest challenges faced while developing smart cities. However, the government is taking steps to finance these projects by making changes in the budget, providing hope for resolution. Secondly, lack of centre-state co-ordination obstructs project implementation. Thirdly, master plans and development plans are key requisites. Additionally, frequent change or development of infrastructure facilities within the cities leads to reallocation of installations.

The country is also not well equipped with skilled manpower and advanced technology requirements for developing 100 smart cities. Currently, not much funds have been allocated for creating skilled labour and capacity building. Lastly, digital security is another threat that cities face when they try to implement smart city projects.

Leveraging construction boom
Selected cities for the Smart Cities Mission have started full-fledged construction. Authorities will look for transparent funding and introduction of new technology. The development of every city in India will give a sense of competition to improve, creating room for government to spend more efficiently and ensure greater revenue generation for the state. Technology innovation is the enabler that improves the possibilities and efficiencies of each smart city project. Local bodies are focusing on the construction of highways and roads to be linked by every small village or town. All India connectivity through roads will ensure development. .

Urban accommodation in smart cities
As smart cities are becoming more technologically advanced, accommodation has been a major issue. The local authorities have enabled steps like competent communication networks. The data availability has also helped citizens in being up to date and also look for easy accommodation with all the required facilities. Based on the working population and employment centres, areas or localities can be earmarked within or outside city looking at the logistics and infrastructure requirements to accommodate the population suitably.

The country is also not well equipped with skilled manpower and advanced technology requirements for developing 100 smart cities.
Ratan Lal Kashyap, Sr. Vice President –Procurement, G R Infraprojects Ltd

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