A press release by CII on 11th febraury 2015.
29 January 2015 , Chennai. The record of Tamil Nadu, as the most urbanised state in India with much better standards of urban governance, and also as the best performing state under JNNURM, gives the hope and confidence that the state will also be at the forefront in making its cities smart said Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India. “The two words that have really caught the imagination of the people over the last ten months or so are ‘Smart Cities.’ The initiative of smart cities has aroused tremendous interest not only in our country but across the globe said, while delivering the inaugural address at the Conference on ‘Tamil Nadu Smart Cities’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“Japan has shown interest in developing Ponneri as a smart city. This week we signed MoUs with the US Trade and Development Agency for developing Visakhapatnam, Allahabad, and Ajmer as smart cities. In further evidence of global interest in our project, Germany has agreed to associate itself with the development of three more smart cities,” the Minister informed.
As for the discussion that is to be held in the next few days with all the States and Union Territories (UTs), Mr Naidu said that the issues to be taken up would include: What kind of support and hand-holding our cities and towns would need in this task; how to ensure citizen participation in urban governance that is crucial for making our cities smart; what is the core economic activity of each city and how it can be leveraged for augmenting employment generation; what is the status of preparation of GIS-based spatial mapping and preparation of city master plans; and what kind of innovative financial tools are to be adopted to mobilise huge resources required. “Soon after this consultation with the States and UTs, we will present our framework to the Prime Minister before going ahead with obtaining necessary approvals,” he added.
A smart city, the Minister outlined, should enable better urban living by addressing the present problems in urban mobility, assured supply of quality utilities such as water and electricity, good sanitation, solid waste management, accessible and affordable social infrastructure such as health care and education, and responsive governance. “A smart city is basically one which is liveable, workable, sustainable, and inclusive. Ideally, all aspects of city life and environment should be smart. A smart city economy would attract business and investments, ensuring economic growth and employment to the people. Smart cities should address the growing concern of climate change,” he described.
The 4S mantra for smart cities, according to the Minister, is smart leadership (with vision and courage), smart governance (ensuring transparency and accountability), smart technologies (enabling waste to wealth, and real time information), and smart people (who participate in the process, and are willing to pay for the value-added and quality services). “For all this to be realised, governance is the key. We need to ensure governance which enables citizen participation in decision-making and execution through community action,” he underlined.
Earlier, while delivering the opening remarks, Mr Ravi Sam, Chairman, CII Tamil Nadu & Managing Director, Adwaith Textiles Ltd, spoke about the inherent strengths of Tamil Nadu. With its strong industrial base, Tamil Nadu is a natural choice for many foreign investors such as from Japan,” he said. Stating that the heart of Tamil Nadu’s Vision 2023 document is the creation of world-class infrastructure for all residents of the state, irrespective of their economic status, Mr Sam reminded that with a very young population, the demand for urban living will keep increasing. “CII will facilitate private sector participation in the showcasing of Tamil Nadu as a major investment destination, and also in the creation of smart cities that ensure inclusive development,” he assured.
Mr Chitty Babu, Chairman, CII TN Conference on Smart Cities & Chairman & Managing Director, Akshaya Pvt Ltd, spoke about the design of the sessions, taking into account the need for regeneration and innovation.
Mr Ajit Chordia, Co-Chairman, IGBC Chennai Chapter, President, CREDAI – Chennai & Managing Director, Khivraj Tech Park Pvt Ltd, highlighted the many positives in the policy initiatives of the Government, and also the salutary results that are flowing from the same.
Mr Ram Chandnani, Deputy Managing Director – Transaction Services, CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd, underlined the need for citizen participation, in the development of smart cities.
In the concluding remarks, Mr S. Raghupathy, Executive Director, CII – Godrej Green Business Centre, emphasised on the need to think ‘green’ even as we think ‘smart’.
Photo Source :-PIB