Smart Cities Mission needs to be
efficient, socially inclusive (Mint)
Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level: Smart City mission
Mains level: Challenges ahead for achieving Smart City mission
- In 2014, the NDA government had announced that it will set up 100 smart
cities across the country.
- The objective of the Mission was to promote cities that provide core
infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, and a
clean and sustainable environment with the application of technology.
About Smart City mission:
- 81 per cent of the projects proposed under the Smart City Mission have
been tendered out, while 25 per cent of the projects stand completed.
- A total of 5,151 projects worth ₹2,05,018 crore have been proposed by
cities participating in the Smart Cities Mission.
- Due to the lack of coordination between various agencies implementing
the project and lopsided priorities when it comes to investing the funds
allocated under the programme.
Reasons behind the progress lacking behind:
- Globally, a smart city is built on a communication network that gathers
data from smart devices and sensors embedded in roadways, power grids,
buildings and other assets to create efficient services.
- But cities selected under India’s Smart Cities Mission are busy
focussing on basic infrastructure.
- The Mission cities are putting their highest share of investment (16.60
per cent) into urban transport development.
- Despite cities facing a solid-waste management crisis, only 2.4 per cent
of the funds have been allocated towards this issue.
- Social sectors and storm-water drainage are also low on priority. Lack
of coordination between various government agencies and project execution is
another area of concern. In some areas, Smart City Missions have created a
parallel mechanism of governance instead of strengthening local governing
- There is also little attempt being made to create awareness among
citizens about the need for such cities.
- Some of these smart cities are being built from the ground up, on land
currently owned by villagers who complain that the project is being thrust
on them without considering their requirements.
- A World Economic Forum paper recently pointed out that people’s
participation in the Smart City Mission is limited to digital literates,
potentially skewing opinions.
- The Centre needs to urgently initiate systemic reforms if it wants to
make India’s cities future-ready.
- By 2050, about 70 per cent of the global population will be living in
cities, and India is no exception. India will need about 500 new cities to
accommodate the influx into its urban regions.
- The Smart City Mission has raised great expectations. But commitment
from the State governments and governance reform at all levels of government
is required to make it a success.
- Institutional reform, as well as an inclusive notion of city spaces, is
required to take the Smart City project ahead. Cities need to be not just
technologically smart, but liveable for all.
Q.1) With reference to the Saras Mk2, consider the following statements:
1. It is the first indigenous light transport aircraft of India.
2. It has been developed by the DRDO.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1) What are the reasons affecting India’s smart city mission?