Exactly a year back, in June 2015, Prime Minster Narendra Modi launched his flagship project ‘Smart Cities Mission’ and today the implementation of the project has also started. In one year the Modi government laid down the mission guidelines for creating 100 smart cities in the country over a duration of 5 years (FY2015-16 – FY2019-20) with a budget of Rs.48000 crore. As part of the process, in the first phase, 20 cities were selected for being converted to smart cities. Pune being the second city among the 20 selected.
Pune is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra. In the last few years, Pune has grown rapidly owing to the growth of various industries in the city, the most prominent being the automotive industry. IT and education sectors are also developing a base in Pune thereby contributing to city’s growth. This has been one of the major reasons to attract a lot of young professionals to the city. Pune being converted to a smart city will provide further impetus to the industrial growth of the city.
On 25th June 2016, PM Narendra Modi launched 14 projects for the city of Pune. Along with this he also launched 69 projects for other cities which were selected in the first phase. On the launch, PM Modi strongly stated that urbanization should be treated as an opportunity and not a problem or a challenge and smart cities is a step towards mitigating poverty.
These 14 projects launched in Pune are in the area of rehabilitation of slums, street and pedestrian walkway, using alternative fuels for buses, traffic demand modelling project and city common mobility card. All these projects are definitely a move towards making Pune smarter. This will lead to ease in everyday traffic, and mobility of vehicles and people, giving the people of Pune a better experience.
Along with launching these projects, PM Modi also inaugurated the ‘Make Your City SMART’ contest. This contest aims at getting the people of the city to participate in making their city smarter. So citizens of the city will be putting forward their suggestions and designs to make their city a better place and valid suggestions will be incorporated in the plan.
A move like this is definitely a positive one which encourages participation and involves citizens in decision making. Citizens through this can voice their opinion and get amenities as per their need.
Considering the importance and need of cross-sharing ideas between cities, a Smart Net Portal was also launched on the same day. The idea behind this portal is to enable all the different smart cities to share ideas for better execution and find solutions to the challenges faced by them in implementing the smart city solutions.
All these initiatives towards making cities smarter will lead to better living standards for the citizens of the city. Measures like urbanization and affordable housing will help minimize poverty making the city a better place to live. Also the Indian economy as a whole will benefit from the growth of such cities.