The growing need for smarter cities is predominantly attributed to an unprecedented growth in urban population and smartness is being discussed as a key, predominantly technology enabled to manage energy and making city greenfield, but this is a misconception . Energy management alone is not enough to ensure a better quality of life for citizens.

L-R Sudhir Dhawan, CEAI president, Bibek Debroy, Member, Niti Aayog and
Sudhir Krishnan former secretary, URban Developmen
“A Smart city is where existing natural and man made resources such as such as water, air , food and most important it’s human resources are used efficiently as possible to provide better quality of life for its citizens “ said Mr Bibek Debroy, Member Niti Aayog, while inaugurating a day long seminar on “Engineering Smart Cities’’ organised by Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI) here today.

“Urbanization in India has picked pace in recent years, owing to increased economic growth and expanding markets. Needless to say, this is making it crucial for leaders and technocrats to seek better and more efficient ways to accommodate citizens. The 100 Smart Cities is one of the most promising projects by the Indian government, albeit with its share of challenges and opportunities.’Smart City’ which encompasses efficient, livable and sustainable urban area, efficient use of scares resources like water and energy, smart mobility, and smart governance.” Said Mr Debroy.

‘Smart City’ include energy management through smart grid which includes smart metering and SCADA-based automation system, smart LED lighting, harvesting solar power, city-wide wi-fi services, smart video surveillance, intelligent parking and water management with recycling and harvesting as its integral part, this would mean that it will have to provide good quality but affordable housing, cost-efficient physical, social and institutional infrastructure, such as adequate and quality water supply, sanitation, 24X7 electric supply, clean air, quality education, cost-efficient healthcare, dependable security, entertainment, sports, robust and high-speed interconnectivity, fast and efficient urban mobility.” Niti Aayog member said.

“Why should NITI plan what should be done for the states. It is for the states to figure out what they want to do. And the NITI is there to facilitate that .Also, it is for the citizens to decide what form of smartness they want in their cities,”’ he added.

Debroy said that the government is not going to decide a set of targets like that in Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). “What is significantly different about this way is that as compared to JnNURM, is not that the government is planning to do A, B, C, D. It is not that the government is going to spend X amount of resources.It is about states involving the private sector, involving citizens,” he said.