CHENNAI: Even as the Union government is planning to create 100 smart cities, experts on Monday stressed on the need for successful pilots before launching the smart city initiative.
Speaking on a panel discussion on ‘Digital Infrastructure: Creating the smart cities of the future’ during the 13th edition of Connect, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry and Tamil Nadu government, director of special projects, World Bank, T V Somanathan said that smart cities initiative should be taken up after successful pilots.
He said before the smart city project is being taken up one should think of social, economic as well as regulatory framework for digital technology, including social networking as well as Internet are in place, before going in for smart cities.
Interestingly, the definition of how smart a city should be is puzzling policy makers, industry as well as the government. Even the concept note on smart cities is yet to be evolved fully, a policy maker confided.
Atul Anand, managing director of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu said that smart city is more of how a citizen interacts with the government. “It is about smart transportation and municipalities,” he said
K K Raman, partner management consulting, Business excellence, KPMG, says that the valuation of 100 smart cities in India could range to $35 billion. He also acknowledges that a pilot on smart city would be the best before the government starts implementing the 100 smart cities. “This itself could take more than two years,” he says.
However, he says that, “digital infrastructure will power the next mega trend as connected devices converge bringing more efficiency and possibilities in the future. Industry players and society need to leverage digital infrastructure to create more opportunities and economic value as it is expected to play a major role in the success of the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” he says.
Interestingly, analysts predict that billions of devices will be connectable with an ability to drastically enhance the quality of living and change the way we experience products around us. Digital infrastructure is expected to create tremendous opportunities for various technology players across verticals and in key applications like; smart cities, smart utilities, smart healthcare, smart transportation and more in India.