Real estate industry experts today welcomed the addition of 13 cities to the list of smart cities, saying it will distribute the benefits of urban development more evenly across the country and drive growth.
The Union Government today announced the names of 13 new cities which will be developed under the Smart City Mission.
It includes Lucknow in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Warangal in Telangana and Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.
“This is a welcome development as the government has allowed more states and cities to participate in the Smart Cities initiative. It is encouraging to note the participation of more tier-II and III cities, which means that the benefits of urban development and infrastructure creation will be evenly spread across the country,” CBRE South Asia Chairman and Managing Director Anshuman Magazine said.
“The release of the list of the next 13 smart cities today brings up the credibility of the government in pushing forth with the smart cities program in a time-bound manner.
“The initiative will significantly benefit the economy and the people and help build demand for the industry,” KPMG (India) Partner–Infrastructure and Government Services Jaijit Bhattacharya said.
Deloitte India Senior Director Arindam Guha also said the additions are expected to make distribution of smart cities across the states more balanced.
“What is more important is what kind of models individual cities will adopt for procurement and implementation,” he said.
While some cities are going for two packages, one for the pan city solution and the other for area development, certain others are in the process of appointing a single project management unit which would then support them in procurement of specialised solution providers in areas like solid waste management, water supply and sanitation, Guha said.
“The latest list is a good mix of prominent industrial and cosmopolitan cities along with state capitals as well as tier 3 and 4 cities and bodes well for a holistic approach to developing existing cities as smart cities.
“The geographic spread of the new list also shows encouraging signs of development being also focused towards the eastern and north-eastern part of the country where infrastructure development is vital in line with (Prime Minister) Modi’s vision to develop the east,” JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said.
EY India Partner – Smart Cities Shrinivas Kowligi said the real race to accelerate the implementation now starts.
“Cities have the opportunity to rapidly implement some quick-win solutions amongst their sets of digital, urban planning / design and infrastructure sub-projects.
“It’s now over to the leadership of the cities and the smart cities companies of these cities to drive the pace, quality and outcomes of the smart cities plans,” Kowligi said.