By Accommodation Times News Service
The urban development ministry developing 100 smart cities, other government agencies and private players are also building both greenfield urban areas and improving existing localities
The Centre is now preparing accreditation criteria to certify smart cities. This is being done since besides the urban development ministry developing 100 smart cities; other government agencies and private players are also building both greenfield urban areas and improving existing localities.
Some of the criteria include citizen-friendly and effective governance, better access to open spaces and public transport, provision for safety and security of women and senior citizens, less dependence on conventional sources of energy and improved water supply besides better facilities for the urban poor and improved sanitation.
Earlier this week, the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal decided to go ahead with developing five greenfield cities on its own rather than going ahead with building New Town (Rajarhat) in Kolkata as a smart city under the Centre’s smart city mission.
“Overall the concept of smart city is gaining popularity and we are going to see more number of such urban areas coming up in addition to what we are doing with the state governments,” said an urban development ministry official.
For example, eight greenfield cities are being developed by Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation, which include Dholera, Manesar-Bawal investment region, Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana investment region and Pitampur-Dhar-Mhow investment region. Similarly, two port cities are being developed in Paradip and Kandla. Maharashra government’s SIDCO is developing Navi Mumbai and the Rashtrapati Bhawan complex is also being made a smart city with modern facilities.
While another government body, National Building Construction Corporation, is redeveloping three big government colonies as smart cities in Delhi, a private player is redeveloping Bhendi Bazaar in Mumbai as a smart city.
“All these show how this has become a movement across the country. Any urban area that meets the identified criteria will be tagged as smart city,” the ministry official said.