Need to Reorient Smart Cities Mission to Tackle COVID Challenge

Smart Cities Mission to Tackle COVID Challenge

The National Smart City Mission - aimed at upgrading core infrastructure of 100 selected cities through sustainable smart solutions for providing quality life to citizens - is at a critical juncture in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring a relook and a reworking of its strategy to meet newer challenges.
By Vinod Behl

Purpose, Implementation Strategy & Progress of Smart Cities Mission
The Smart Cities Mission (SCM) launched in 2015, was envisaged as a 5-year holistic program, aimed at providing ₹1000 crore to each of the 100 selected cities (borne equally by the Centre and the States) between 2017-22 to rejuvenate their core infrastructure. Each city, by creating a Special Purpose Vehicle, was expected to raise additional funding from the market. The strategy to implement the Mission revolved around area-based development, housing inclusiveness, creating walkable locations, enhancing citizens’ security, preserving and developing open areas, alongside cost-effective citizen-friendly governance.

Over the last five years, the Mission has made considerable progress, which is evident from the statistics. A total of ₹2,05,018 crore of investment for 5951 projects in 100 smart cities is proposed. Till now, tenders for 4869 projects costing ₹1,68,209 have been issued. For 4038 projects, costing ₹1,31,295 crore, the work is in progress or completed.

Digital Transformation - Key Driver for Smart Cities Mission
Digital transformation of cities holds the key to the success of the Smarts Cities Mission and the future of our cities and its residents. Digital transformation of cities can help meet the major objective of making governance citizen-friendly, cost-effective, transparent, and accountable. Data is the key driver to all policies, programs, projects and measures. Therefore, the focus on Big Data and the city’s behaviour towards its data management is a critical element towards being a truly smart city. Siemens has created a global data-driven index - Atlas of Digitalization - to rate cities based on digitalization readiness and digitalization potential.

Therefore, the current challenge is to make our cities data-driven. Built environment data - the authenticated Digital DNA of all cities - is already captured by cities in various formats and processes through building, engineering and planning departments, besides postal services. The integration of a city’s data in an accurate and authentic manner is key to following the path to becoming a smart city. And for that, we need a proactive approach of identifying and managing the city’s Digital DNA - the building blocks to effectively and efficiently use the city’s ability to repurpose its existing data and documents associated with the built environment.

Covid Challenges for Smart Cities Mission and the Path Ahead
Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to recalibrate the Smart Cities Mission and build sustainable cities, better equipped to handle such pandemics. It has also exposed the absence of strong and resilient health systems in our cities, which act as the first line of defense - not only against disease outbreaks - but also for meeting everyday health challenges. Considering that by 2025, 40% of India’s population will be living in urban areas, there’s a need to upgrade the health infrastructure to address challenges posed by pandemics like Covid-19.

It is an irony that creation of health infrastructure is a very low priority in smart cities. In overall spending under Smart Cities Mission heads, only 2.3% is dedicated to health and education and only about 1% of the smart city projects are for health infrastructure and capacity building. Only two sectors - environment and solid waste management - have got a share of investment equal to health and education. In contrast, area development (23%) accounts for the highest share followed by urban transport (14%), water supply (11%), housing (9.9%) IT connectivity and digitization (8.5%), energy (7.2%), sewerage & septage(7.2%), and economic development (6%).

So far, the major focus of the SCM has been to make cities economically vibrant. But now, in the post- Covid scenario, SCM needs to be re-focused and reoriented with greater priority to health, as our cities can become economic engines only if its citizens are healthy. And we can achieve it successfully by leveraging digital technology like telemedicine.

The writer is Editor, PropTOQ real estate magazine

NBM&CW October 2020

Click Here
To Know More / Contact The Manufacturer
Please fill in your details, we will contact you as soon as possible
Choose Title from the listPlease let us know your name.
Please let us know your Designation.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Please let us know your City.
Please let us know your Contact Number.
Please brief your query.
Our other value-added services:

To receive updates through e-mail on Products, New Technologies & Equipment, please select the Product Category(s) you are interested in and click 'Submit'. This will help you save time plus you will get the best price quotations from many manufacturers, which you can then evaluate and negotiate.

Equipment & Machinery
Invalid Input
Building Products
Invalid Input

Technological advancements disrupting the global construction industry

The world’s rapid transformation from manual processes to digital technologies is empowering the construction industry. Construction companies are now provided with unprecedented levels of transparency, choice and convenience Read More ...

KPMG report: Catalysing the National Infrastructure Pipeline – Project India

KPMG releases a report titled, ‘Catalysing the National Infrastructure Pipeline – Project India’, which highlights how India can achieve the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) task force’s investment target. The report Read More ...

Technology Adoption to drive Construction Industry

The construction industry has the potential to adopt high-tech methods and solutions which could lead to a win-win situation for all the stakeholders - customers, contractors, architects, and even the workforce Read More ...

How Equipment and Machine Health Impact Worker’s Safety

Equipment reliability is defined as the probability that the equipment will successfully perform its intended function without failure, under specified operating environment and operating conditions, for a specified Read More ...

Construction Industry - Economic Disruptions, Growth Prospects, and the Way Forward

Industry stalwarts from the Construction industry – developers, contractors, consultants, manufacturers, service providers, etc. share their views on the challenges that their businesses are facing due to the nation-wide lockdown Read More ...

Reassessing India’s Infrastructure Needs & Demand

Clearing the clutter in the infrastructure space, clarity in policy by the government, and a more efficient legal system to expedite dispute resolution are the key elements for a vibrant infrastructure sector of Read More ...

Future of Indian Real Estate Market Post-COVID-19 Crisis

India’s real estate market has grown tremendously in the past decade. Robust occupier interest, the rise of organised real estate developers, and the entry of institutional capital have acted as catalysts for the growth Read More ...

Deconstructing a slump

The extended lockdown to stem the Covid-19 pandemic has compounded India’s growth woes. Along with external risks such as weak global demand, supply disruptions, and global financial shocks, the economy now faces factory Read More ...

Tectonic Shift in Realty Business Operations

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the biggest ever crisis for the real estate sector. This has dealt a crippling blow to real estate marketing which will in turn change the dynamics of brokerage business in the days to come Read More ...

Best Practices in Delivery of EPC/E&C Projects

The economic growth in India in recent years and the clients’ increasing preference for a single-point responsibility under design-build, for their projects, have led to a surge in opportunities in public as well as private Read More ...

5 Technological Innovations Transforming E&C Sector

Precast construction techniques offer a high degree of modularity of designs and application of manufacturing principles for mass housing projects. The quality, safety, and speed of construction are greatly enhanced with precast Read More ...

Infra Development: The Way Forward

Although the Indian economy has been facing macro-economic ups and down due to global economic gloom, it has managed to remain stable, recording moderate growth rate consistently. Braving all the problems beyond its control, it has improved Read More ...

“Nal Se Jal” - SPML Infra Playing Key Role in Developing Water Infrastructure in India

SPML Infra Limited, India’s leading water management company will play a key role in the development of sustainable water infrastructure to realize the vision of “Nal Se Jal”. This ambitious scheme announced by the Finance Minister during Read More ...

Indian Aviation on a Growth Path

The Aviation Industry in India has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country, especially so during the last three years. Introduction of low-cost carriers, FDI in domestic airlines, advanced information technologies Read More ...

Redefining Urbanity with international transport system

Creative Group presents a new vision for Chandni Chowk (a very congested area in Old Delhi) with re-planned interconnectivity, intermodality, and green spaces, that release the current stress above the ground and create opportunities to restore Read More ...

Rapid Transit System in India Making inroads

To quote Mark Walport, “Industrialisation, Mass Transit, and the Internet are technological revolutions that have reshaped lives, nations, and the planet.” The Indian economy is poised to grow at over 7% in the coming years, placing it Read More ...

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week