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India to complete first three smart cities by 2019: report

Iain Morris
September 2, 2014
India’s government has taken an important step towards the creation of 100 smart cities, setting a deadline of 2019 for the completion of work on the first three of these hubs along the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, according to a report from the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.

The smart cities are expected to make use of M2M and Internet of Things technologies to deliver a range of improvements for residents and help to lower costs for local authorities and organizations.

The cities identified in the Daily Mail report are Dholera, Shendra-Bidkin and Global City.

Under plans unveiled by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, the cities would have centralized systems providing information about the availability of electricity services, and would also be able to reduce energy consumption by giving users more insight into their usage of resources.

Energy systems in buildings could also help to improve energy management, for instance by automatically shutting down lighting or air-conditioning systems when people exit rooms.

A number of India’s biggest cities have already launched initiatives in the areas of smart metering and waste management.

Modi’s government has allocated INR 70.6 billion ($1.17 billion) to the smart cities project in the 2014/15 budget, and – according to the Daily Mail report – authorities have now released plans to build seven smart cities in each of the states of Gujarat, Kerala, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

Another six cities are to be constructed in Uttar Pradesh, including one in Varanasi, Modi’s constituency.

According to another report from India’s Economic Times, Modi has already signed an agreement with Japan’s government to collaborate on the development of Varanasi into a smart city, drawing on Japan’s experiences of transforming Kyoto in a similar way.

Meanwhile, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor will include seven smart cities in total between Delhi and Mumbai, with cities also being constructed along several other industrial corridors in India.

Those include the corridors between Amritsar and Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, and Chennai and Visakhapatnam.

A government official cited by the Daily Mail has indicated that a “master plan” is now ready for three cities along the Bangalore-Chennai corridor – those being Punderi, Krishnapatnam and Tumkur.

Having already partnered with Japan on the scheme, India hopes to draw on the experiences and expertise of other countries around the world in building out its smart cities.

Authorities in Singapore, Germany, the UK, USA and South Korea are reported to have expressed interest in participating in the project.
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