Even before the urban development ministry finalises the contours of its smart city plan, real estate developers, IT and financial experts from India and East Asian counties have started queueing up outside the ministry. Consultants from Singapore, Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan have approached the ministry with their concept of smart city. Wipro and IBM representatives have made presentations for technology-enabled smart cities. Financial advisors, including KPMG, have met the ministry with models to make these smart cities economically sustainable and financially viable. Lavasa Corporation Ltd too has come forward to share its expertise on real estate.
"We have gone through 200 presentations from various stakeholders. These presentations have enabled us to build a perspective on smart cities," Shankar Agarwal, secretary, urban development ministry, said. The smart cities will be equipped with all the utilities, including uninterrupted water and power supply and a well-established waste disposal mechanism. The cities will be IT-enabled as well.
The Singapore model is by far the most viable. "It has a pyramidal approach and suits best in the Indian context. The model presented by them explains how to make the project economically sustainable," a senior ministry official said. The model puts land acquisition at the bottom of the pyramid, followed by creating utilities, including water, power and waste management. At the third level it makes the cities economically viable, enhances the quality of life, creates a transport network, makes the city environmentally sustainable and pitches for an effective government. Once the third level is achieved, the city can have solid information and communication network.
IT companies, including Wipro and IBM, have made presentations to build a telecommunication network and smart applications that would make services available at the press of a button. Lavasa Corporation Ltd that has built the Lavasa city on the outskirts of Pune has approached the ministry to share its expertise. For over two months now, the urban development ministry has gone through all the presentations. "We are scanning all the presentations and we will put all the meaty presentations in public domain asking for suggestions from stakeholders," an official said. "We want inputs from states as well before taking a final call."