Cities are under constant stress owing to the rapid rate at which they are growing and changing, whereas technological advancements and solutions in energy, mobility and transport, infrastructure, and resource efficiency can help transform these cities into resilient urban habitats. The Prime Minister's mission for Smart Cities is poised to enhance the quality of urban life and there is a widespread support from countries and international organizations to explore investment and collaborative opportunities in this sector.
The second edition of Smart Cities India 2016 was recently held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Railways, and Piyush Goyal, Minister of State, Independent charge for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy.
The inaugural session of the conference was moderated by Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council of Energy Environment & Water, India. The organizers arranged an interesting panel for this session to deliberate on Smart Cities in India: Policy and Regulatory Environment.
The exhibition attracted a large number of trade visitors to the four international pavilions from Holland, Poland, Sweden, and Taiwan.
"Transport plays the role of lifeline in a smart city and hence soon India will see new railway stations made with impeccable design and friendly human interface. Special attention needs to be paid to management of natural resources so that the ecological balance is nottampered."
Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu
Cabinet Minister, Government of India,
Ministry of Railways
"India sure has challenges, but in those challenges lie the unparalleled opportunities. A land that has enormous amount of manpower and youth seeking better lifestyle provides the urgent need for smart cities. Smarter solutions need to be scalable, affordable, and fast in their implementation so that the country derives benefit from them."
Minister of State, Government of India, Independent charge for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy
"The prominent agenda is sustainable urban development. Sweden has tried to build sustainable solutions utilizing waste as a resource to boost energy as a hallmark of what technology has achieved in Sweden."
Ambassador to India,
Embassy of Sweden
"India has already come to the threshold to move into the next era in which Taiwan would love to participate in future. Taiwan is now a totally changed country where the traffic lights have also changedto LED lights. India is emerging in a way that in future it could lead the world."
Ambassador to India
Embassy of Taiwan
"On the regulatory front, there are many complex issues that need to be resolved and as a whole, bureaucracy in India needs to be trained and digitization should be incorporated to monitor accountability of the implementation of processes."
Member of Parliament,
"Every city has its own varied essential needs. Degree of efficiency will make every city a smart city. Two key challenges faced in regulating and policy aspect of building smart cities are: Firstly, limited life span of any planning and performance-based selection of those plans. Secondly, how we measure performance and hold people responsible for it. It is important to have matrix of goal achievements, holding processes and people in place, transparency of the entire mechanism, and feedback for a better future."
Dr Ajay Mathur,
"India and other cities across the globe are experiencing a manifold increase in population moving to towns and cities. The Government of India's huge focus on smart cities and Digital India presents an enormous opportunity for us to contribute to the country's transformation. With our leadership in ICT and rich global experience, we can enable Indian cities to transform themselves into sustainable and smart cities."
Head of Region India