Pune Positives

PwC and AMCHAM progress report on smart cities says Pune the biggest gainer

Pune has achieved maximum progress in projects launched by it under the smart cities mission followed by Bhopal and Ahmedabad, says the AmCham and PwC report titled Snapshot of projects under Lighthouse Smart Cities.

Pune is the only municipality to have raised Rs 200 crore via bond issue in the month of June. As for losers, Chennai is the biggest laggard among the eight lighthouse cities featured in the report. There was no movement on large infrastructure projects or slum rehabilitation projects, it notes.

The total amount sanctioned for Smart Cities Mission projects as of today stands at Rs 36,600 crore and completed projects at over Rs 1000 crore. Projects worth Rs 1500 crore have been tendered, or are work-in- progress. Most of the completed projects involve capital expenditure below Rs 200 crore, the progress report that has tracked progress in eight smart cities namely Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal.

The report tracks these cities against eight solution categories - Integrated command and control centre, mobility and transport roads, street lighting, smart lighting, safety and security, smart grid and energy efficiency, solid waste management, water supply and water treatment, dredging and land monetisation.

Some of the iconic projects executed by cities include: Pune has set up a Command and Control Centre to monitor over 2,000 buses. Ahmedabad has monetised land of BRT corridor via optical fibre cabling and Bhopal has launched a citizen safety app called Bhopal Plus and Public Bike Sharing with 25000 registered users, says the document that provides a solutions-based update of eight Lighthouse Smart Cities.

Vizag has undertaken work on pollution monitoring systems, construction of solar rooftops, shore protection along beach roads, construction of a solar city, beach beautification projects and disaster management and e-government projects, says the report.

It notes that maximum progress has been witnessed in areas of command and data centre projects, traffic management solutions, smart and efficient street lighting solutions, waste collection and disposal solutions and in case of mobility and transport solutions.

The report by American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) is the apex association of American companies operating in India and PwC also notes that in the Indian context, the population of urban dwellers is estimated to add 404 million people. Cities in India have developed into centres of focus for business, livelihoods, comfort as well as a higher quality of life. As a result, the urban population has increased; however, service delivery and infrastructure in these cities have degraded.

The smart city concept can be looked upon as a framework for implementing a vision to help achieve the aforementioned benefits and modern urbanisation. The inclination to adopt the smart city model is driven by the need to surpass the challenges posed by traditional cities as well as overcoming them in a systematic manner. It is crucial for cities to explore a shift towards adopting sustainable city development measures amongst all stakeholders, namely citizens, businesses and the government.

As of date, 31 states have participated in the challenge and thus far, 90 cities have been selected. However, due to political reasons, the state government of West Bengal pulled out the already selected New Town Kolkata, leaving 30 states participating in the challenge and 89 selected cities.

The Smart Cities Mission was initiated by the ministry of housing and urban affairs in June 2015. The mission has identified 100 cities that are proposed to be developed under the scheme in its duration of five years (FY 2015–16 to FY2019–20).

The Smart City Mission is a Centrally Support Scheme (CSS) whereby Rs 48,000 crore would be given by the MoHUA and an equal amount will be contributed by states, translating to an average of Rs 100 crore funding per city by the municipal corporation and another Rs 100 crore by the state.

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