Embedding smart practices is no longer limited to specific industries or markets. Rather, the story lies in transforming an entire territory into a SMART locality, which is built upon a proactively integrated digital platform that imbibes futuristic values. Accordingly, India has ramped up its smart journey with the onset of the Smart Cities Mission in 2015, with a vision to upgrade a diverse set of 100 cities within the next few years.
The stride towards developing smart and even smarter cities has become a global sensation, which aims to intelligently integrate ICT solutions across the territorial network, increasing the efficiency and quality of life for every citizen. India has accordingly kickstarted its smart drive with the onset of the Smart Cities Mission in 2015, with the government envisioning to revamp a number of competitively-selected cities over a five-year period. A diverse list of 100 participants has thereby cropped up within the last three years, which has opened up the investment sphere for a host of multidimensional programs and international alliances. Within this, 534 projects worth over INR 101 billion have been completed to date while 5,151 projects worth INR 2,000 billion stand in various stages of implementation.
The activity spectrum is in full swing, with a focus on radicalizing eco-friendly mobility options, expanding the scope of renewable energy, ensuring an adequate supply of fresh water and pushing off slum development through adequate housing. All this is being managed through the adoption of digitally-run platforms that meet with the overarching smart parameters of safety, interoperability cybersecurity, feasibility and sustainability.
Concurrently, the mission is also nearing towards completing four out of its stipulated five-year cycle which, together with the ongoing governmental elections, requires a re-assessment framework to paint the road for the next set of reforms. Such would also include addressing several paint point avenues that developers and social groups have lately brought to attention, calling in for even greater transparency and accountability at all points of the journey. Essentially, the core lies in streamlining progress across all the 100 cities so that the developmental pipeline remains up & running, with the mission being fructified in a propitious manner.
In this spirit, Mazars believes the upcoming SMART Map of 2020 should ideally emphasize upon key fundamentals under the S-M-A-R-T ambit, where development runs as per each city’s Specificity, Measurability, Attainability, Relevance and Timeliness. This should then drill down into formulating sector and governance specific guidelines, which include aspects such as maintaining a universal and task-oriented oversight regime, re-orienting mobility options to go MOBILE, embedding a strong focus on humanitarian goals and actively seeking feedback from citizens along the way.