Employability, sustainability, and liveability form basic framework of Smart Cities: Secretary, Housing and Urban Affairs

New Delhi: Mr Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Govt of India today said that the smart cities concept does not have a single dimension of focusing on just big or small cities; any city can become a smart city. “Every city will have their own path of smartness. Employability, sustainability and liveability are the core things on which the cities move,” he added.


Addressing the virtual 4th Smart Cities Summit & 2nd Smart Urban Innovation Awards, organized by FICCI, Mr Mishra emphasized on adopting the learnings and success of one city by other cities. “The learning of one city chosen under 100 smart cities be spread to other cities so that it becomes a light house.” He further said that we need to focus on ensuring that these light houses help other cities become smart and that the government is working to standardize these learnings.


“Our target is to develop our 4,372 cities, along with other cities, as smart cities. To make this happen, cities should use their land, resources, local people, and skills to move on different path,” he added.


Mr Mishra stated that smart cities have played a very important role in dealing with the COVID-induced crisis. Many of the smart cities effectively used their Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) for city’s operations management as COVID-19 War Rooms for analysing city-specific data, coordinating activities of various state, city agencies and connecting with citizens. He said that using the data collected through various sensors and smart solutions, cities carried out data modelling and predictive analytics, creating dashboards, scenario visualization and simulation models to analyse the virus spread and plan their response.


“There were 49 working Integrated Command and Control Centres, which has now increased to 53 and 30 more will be added in the forthcoming months. It is not only the technology but how technology is impacting the livelihood of citizens which is important,” said Mr Mishra.


Mr Tanmoy Chakrabarty, Chairman, FICCI Urban Transformation Committee & Group Government Affairs Officer, Tata Sons Pvt Ltd said that as growing number of cities have begun their urban transformation, there is an emerging trend of using human-centric and cloud-based technologies to automate and integrate urban services. Such technologies are resulting in significant data generation that can be further used to effective urban development.


Mr Amit Malik, Co-Chair, FICCI Committee on Urban Transformation and MD – Sales, Global Service Provider Segment (APJC), Cisco India said that 5G will further revolutionize the smart cities concept. If India is to keep pace and compete with leading developed economies of the world, a quick adoption of 5G will have a key role to play, he added.


Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that it is encouraging to witness the initiatives being planned by the Govt of India to support the Smart Cities Mission and ensure growth of infrastructure in the country.


During the session, FICCI-EY report on ‘The Journey of Urban India: From Conventional Policy Implementation to Disruptive Transformation’ was also released.


FICCI also announced 13 winners for their 2nd Smart Urban Innovation Awards under 11 categories which are as follows: Public Opens Spaces – Ixora Corporate Services Pvt Ltdu; Smart Water – Maithri Aquatech Pvt Ltd; Mobility – SmartE; Solar and Renewable Energy- Bangalore International Airport Ltd; Smart Solid Waste Management – KEC International Ltd. and eQuadriga Software Pvt Ltd; Smart Education – Xynteo Pvt. Ltd, Smart Health- WIPRO Ltd, Disruptive Solutions – CISCO Ltd, Physical Security – Tech Mahindra Ltd and Larsen & Toubro Ltd; Citizen Collaboration – WIPRO Ltd, Communication Technologies – Larsen & Toubro Ltd.


Mr Vikas Aggarwal, Partner-Technology Consulting, Government & Public Sector, Ernst & Young LLP; Dr M Ramachandran, Former Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India (Jury Chair); Dr OP Agarwal, CEO, World Resources Institute, India; and Mr Kailash Babar, Senior Assistant Editor, The Economic Times also shared their perspective.