Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has said that in terms of sheer numbers, the largest urban transformation of the 21st century is happening in India. Inaugurating a two-day Apex Conference on Smart Cities here today, he said, India’s unique pattern of urbanization is not a corollary, but a driving force of this growth story.
“With 70% of India’s built environment for 2030 yet to take shape, its impending urban transformation also represents significant opportunities for domestic and international investments”, he added.
Puri said, to achieve sustainable growth, the cities will have to become more liveable and safer with clean air; adequate infrastructure; reliable utilities; and opportunities for learning and employment. He said, the solution lies in inclusive urbanization processes that prioritize quality of life for all, focusing especially on the needs of vulnerable urban groups for employment, housing, sanitation, healthcare and education.
“Most importantly, planning must incorporate long-term resource sensitivity and community involvement at every step, while benchmarking smart and measurable outcomes for all stakeholders”, he emphasised.
Puri informed that currently all 100 Smart Cities have established their SPVs, constituted their City Level Advisory Forum (CLAF) and all cities have appointed PMCs, indicating that all these Smart Cities are in Mission mode. He further informed that Integrated Command and Control Centres becoming operational in 15 cities has resulted in enhanced efficiency in governance, management of traffic, law enforcement, improved citizen grievance redressal and reduced criminal incidents on city streets and public spaces.
“Making cities ‘Data Smart’ is key in realizing the full potential of technology interventions and innovation ecosystems in cities:, he said.