Smart cities are not just about new cities having swanky buildings, smart power grids, computerised traffic systems. It is mostly about citizens—e-governance, providing public services at doorstep, health and hygiene, safety and security. While most Indian cities are now pondering over technology choices for the smart city project, very few are in a position to decide on these projects are going to be funded or who will build the infrastructure.
Should the smart cities be accorded the status of deemed union territories for a decade so legislative hassles are averted? How do we address the contentious issue of land acquisition? How will the projects going to be funded and how will the investment be recovered? Since many of the citizens in these new cities are going to be from the low income bracket, can user charges be kept at the barest minimum? Should there be a special purpose vehicle to foster public-private partnership?
The National Mission on Smart Cities aims to address all these issues before a city or a state government forges ahead with a smart city project. Rather than adopting a lopsided supply driven model professed by industry biggies, the authorities ought to address the demand-side problems first. The Mission aims to bring all the stakeholders—government, industry and civil society—on one platform to find the optimum solution for the problems that smart cities will confront.
Going by the examples of a few satellite cities around metros, the bigger question is how to integrate the various government processes—for example, house and car registrations, facilities provided by the municipality, law and order. These are of paramount importance to citizens, more than anything else. Which is why, the Mission is attempting to take a humane angle on the technology edged development process.
Founder, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, YES BANK
Mentor & Member - Governing Council, CAII
Chair - National Mission on Smart and Sustainable Cities
Rana Kapoor is the Founder, Managing Director & CEO of YES BANK. As a professional entrepreneur, since 2003, he is progressively establishing a high quality, state-of-the-art private Indian Bank with a vision of “Building the Best Quality Bank of the World in India” by 2015. Under his leadership, YES BANK has steadily evolved as the “Professionals’ Bank of India” with exemplary business and financial outcomes as evidenced in the financial results since inception, highest RoA/RoE, and the best asset quality amongst leading Public and Private Banks in India. More
Vice Chairman & Managing Director, IL&FS, Co-Chair - National Mission on Smart and Sustainable Cities
Hari Sankaran is Vice Chairman & Managing Director of IL&FS Ltd. He is overall in-charge of IL&FS Group activities and has been largely responsible for the Group's focus on infrastructure, having led its initiatives in all infrastructure verticals of the Group. He is instrumental for significant expansion of IL&FS Group activities and profitability. Sankaran is Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. With his vast experience in Project development and financing, Sankaran has spearheaded the commercialisation of infrastructure projects in India. More