Need to sync technology with infrastructure

The smart city concept can be an outline for implementing the vision of highly developed and modern urbanisation. It taps a range of approaches viz. urban planning best practices, public-private partnerships along with digital and information technologies.

According to Manish Hissaria, Director, QuaLiX Information System LLP, different states are trying to nominate cities to get financial support of ` 100 crore per year per city. While funding is a prospect for states to renew their urban areas, the Smart Cities Mission still has got its own set of challenges.

Smart cities are pivotal in manifesting the dream to make India a developed nation. Government is taking the initiative to motivate states to provide smart facilities to its citizens. The Smart Cities Mission, is still facing a plethora of challenges in accomplishing its goals. Following are the challenges observed by Hissaria while developing smart cities:

Modernising existing infrastructure of the city: Bringing change is always a huge challenge. Moreover, if one is looking for a city to change, obviously the strategies need to be adequately reviewed. During this, the authorities faced issues in contributing to the supply of water and electricity.

Three-tier governance: Cordination between the authorities is essential. For effective implementation of the development plan, there needs to be an effective vertical and horizontal communication between local bodies, state government and central government.

Multivendor dealing: Many vendors supply the components of the infrastructure and handling each vendor is a difficult task, being a significant challenge faced in the implementation of smart city solutions at such a big level.

Implementation of capacity building programs: It is challenging for people working in the opposite direction, and for this, capacity building programs suggested by the government are also lacking their spirit. Central government has allocated around 5 per cent of programs in cities till date which is making a delay in project completion.

Leveraging construction activities
Cities being selected by their states for participation in the Smart Cities Mission contest are taking full advantage to start various construction activities in full spirit in their cities. They are being funded by the government, and the budget is passed annually. Authorities are trying their best to give facilities to people and make it sustainable for future. This will not only give fierce competition to other cities but also generate revenue for their state.

Leaders of the city are trying to ensure the proper working of the fundamental infrastructure of the city. Water, energy, transportation, internet facility and telecommunication are significant factors to be checked regularly. Local bodies are focusing on the construction of highways and roads to be linked by every small village or town. Comfortable travelling in public transport like in foreign countries is also on top priority.

Hissaria says, “Eventually by 2022, governments are promising that every city will be a smart city and will follow the guidelines strictly.”

Changing vision for urban accommodation
People face problems while searching for suitable accommodation in big cities. As in many places supply of water and energy is almost negligible. Watching this situation and discussing this, local bodies are experimenting with various methods to provide smart accommodation to its smart people.

Cities need competent communication networks, which include mobile and broadband networks as well as low latency. Another aspect for residents is open data portals, which can play a significant role in promoting research and innovations. The democratisation of data is extremely important and by making this data easily accessible for citizen could assist in the development of specific solutions and clear-cut analytics.

While funding is a prospect for states to renew their urban areas, the Smart Cities Mission still has got its own set of challenges.
Manish Hissaria, Director, QuaLiX Information System LLP

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