L&T leads the way to make Jaipur India’s first smart city

December 24, 2015

Larsen & Toubro’s Smart World & Communication business vertical is leading the way to make Jaipur India’s first smart city by creating a host of smart solutions like wi-fi hotspots, citizen interactive information kiosks, surveillance cameras, environmental sensors, parking information systems and remote kiosks with facility management services at select locations in the city.

L&T has received the mandate from Jaipur Development Authority (JDA), which is leading the initiative to equip Jaipur with world-class digital facilities targeted primarily at the heavy tourist traffic that the city attracts. All kind of information about the city, its rich heritage and history, locations, directions, distances, etc., will now be available at the click of a button to tourists and citizens.

“We are delighted to be involved in this farsighted programme to transform Jaipur into India’s first smart city,” said S N Subrahmanyan, deputy managing director and president, Larsen & Toubro, who also heads L&T Construction, the construction arm of L&T, where the smart world business vertical resides.

“The government’s announcement of creating 100 smart cities in the country will go a long way in making India future-ready and it is wonderful that we have an opportunity to participate in making that objective a reality.”

The Jaipur project has been planned in two phases with phase-1 aimed at transforming six major locations into smart zones in the next month-and-a-half and the remaining locations to be completed in a total of 120 days along with an operations & maintenance contract for 5 years. In phase 1, L&T is completing the work at six locations, including the famous Amer Fort.


Sources: dna

India Smart Cities Project Requires Overall Investment in tune of USD2 Trillion Says TechSci Research

June 9, 2015

Government to Actively Use PPP Route and Encourage FDI for Effective Implementation of Smart Cities Project in India.

A smart city is enabled with highly advanced technology encompassing a network of sensors, cameras, wireless devices, IT infrastructure and data centers to efficiently provide essential services such as electricity, water supply, sanitation, recycling, transportation, etc. and ensure their effective management. Government of India has envisioned to set up 100 smart cities, with most of the states having at least two smart cities.Under this initiative, the government has set the benchmark for identification of smart cities based on an array of parameters including current population, presence of tourist spots, and religious and economic importance a city carries with itself.

According to TechSci Research report “Market Study on Upcoming Smart Cities in India, 2015”, the smart cities project in India would entail investments of around USD 2 trillion for development of trunk and internal infrastructure in 100 cities planned under the project. The government is focusing on encouraging Public Private Partnership (PPP) for successful implementation of smart city project in India. Financial and IT services sectors are on the priority list of the government to garner investments from leading companies such as Cisco, EMC, GE, IBM, Bajaj, etc. in coming years. Few of the major companies that are currently involved in project planning of these cities include Halcrow, Synoate, Knight Frank and AECOM India.

“The first phase of Dholera smart city in Gujarat is expected to be completed by 2023. Financial and IT services are the focus areas of development in the first phase of Dholera smart city.

Overall cost involved in building infrastructure in the first phase of Dholera smart city is expected to be around USD2.73 billion.” said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a global management consulting firm.

“Market Study on Upcoming Smart Cities in India, 2015” has evaluated the future growth potential of the smart cities in India and provides infrastructure costing of various currently active smart city projects in the country. The report is intended to provide cutting-edge market intelligence and help decision makers take sound investment decision. Besides, the report also identifies and analyzes the emerging trends along with essential drivers and challenges associated with smart city development in India.

About Company

TechSci Research is a global market research and consulting company with offices in Canada, UK and India. TechSci Research provides market research consulting services in six verticals – Information Technology, Chemicals, Water & Water Recycling, Consumer Goods & Retail, Automotive and Energy & Power. The company uses proprietary innovative business model that focuses on improved productivity that also ensure the creation of high-quality reports. With more than 100 client engagements with fortune 500 clients, TechSci Research enjoys the status of a premium market research services provider in the industry.



Swedish Cos converge at Vibrant Gujarat with solutions for ‘Smart-Cities’

January 12, 2015

Urban Development Government offices of Sweden along with high level authorities from top Swedish companies like Ikea, Volvo, Ericsson, Envac and Scania, have come down to attend the seventh edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. They are eyeing to collaborate with the local authorities to work on sustainable, energy efficient and green solutions for ‘smart city’ projects in Gujarat.

Talking to the media here, Fredrika Ornbrant, Consul General of Sweden, Mumbai said, “Rapid economic growth, increased population and accelerating urbanisation have led to higher requirements on infrastructure facilities, all over the world. The city of Ahmedabad has also been rapidly developing and is actively taking on these challenges.”

She feels that an affordable public transport network that would enable people to reach their destinations in the shortest possible time, was the need of the hour in Ahmedabad. The Swedish delegation emphasized that the country leads the way in offering a plethora of cutting-edge, new and innovative solutions, one such being SymbioCities, where the goal is to create liveable cities that are good for the population in terms of environment, transportation, waste handling that are mindful to our planet.

Micael Hagman, deputy director, sustainable urban development, Government offices of Sweden said “Sweden is one of the pioneering countries when it comes to technology, innovation and smart cities. Current urbanisation trends will result in 70 per cent of the global population living in cities by 2050, and given the increasing social and environmental challenges, it is imperative that we learn how best to develop, govern and manage integrated and sustainable cities.”

While an Ikea spokesperson spoke on ‘smart living’ in terms of smart furnishings suited for modern day lifestyle made with raw material that is sourced sustainably, K Thulin, director, pre-sales and marketing of commercial vehicle maker Scania highlighted that his company is running buses on green fuel. Thulin mentioned a Stockholm project where the company was running almost 500 buses on bio-fuel, and that the approach was ‘local waste for local fuel’. For that matter, Scania India has launched the ethanol powered “Green Bus” in Nagpur, for the first time in the country, in August last year, and is in the look out for similar initiatives in other Indian cities.

While both Scania and Ikea have been present in India for a while now, this would be the very first time they would be attending the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Ikea has been present in India for the last 27 years, sourcing for its stores around the world. In India, Ikea currently has 48 suppliers with about 45,000 direct employees and about 400,000 people in the extended supply chain.

Waste management solutions company Envac which is already working on sustainable waste management in GIFT city in Ahmedabad, is looking at partnering in more such projects. For example, it would start a pilot project for automated waste collection system in the capital city of Gandhinagar very soon.

Envac is present in India since 2010 and completed three projects namely the Oberoi Flight Kitchenin Delhi handling 15,000 meals a day, Viveria Towers for K Raheja in Mumbai and the Phase one of GIFT City.Eventually it will be developed to handle waste from over 100 towers and equal to 400 tonnes of waste per day


Source:Business Standards

Path to digital India, smart cities lies in openness and co-creation

January 12, 2015

Path to digital India, smart cities lies in openness and co-creation

What should be the common strategy when it comes to creating Smart Cities and building Digital India, the two mega projects that are preoccupying our country currently?

Technology, of course, will be a building block. But the founding principles in these two ambitious projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be a culture of openness, of shared resources and of co-creation. This is the takeaway from listening to two experts – one on Smart Cities, and the other on the Internet.

On Tuesday, even as Professor Solomon Darwin, Executive Director, Centre for Corporate Innovation at the Haas School of Business, University of Berkeley was shepherding a team of students researching smart cities across the Capital, in another corner of the city, Dr Vinton Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google, and one of the founding fathers of the Internet, was holding forth at Ficci on “innovation, jobs and the Internet”. Significantly, both Darwin, drawn to India by our smart cities project, and Cerf, excited by the vision of a digital India, dwelled a lot on the importance of open innovation.

Fresh from a visit to the upcoming smart city GIFT (Gujarat Inernational Finance Tec-city), and intense meetings with Cisco, Tyco, IBM, and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Professor Darwin, who teaches a course on building smart cities through open innovation, said, “My definition of a smart city is one that saves times, one that saves cost, and one that shares resources.”

“We believe in Open Cities that give resources and take resources and provide benefits for citizens as they are cost effective.” He gave the example of Oakland and San Francisco in California, two cities that are near each other. “We don’t want two public libraries, we can share, we don’t need two of everything, we can share water systems… when there is a deficit here, and a surplus there, they can be adjusted,” he points out.

Is that happening? “No,” says Darwin ruefully. “The problem with cities is that they are becoming isolated, working in silos. Silos create barriers and also create expenses.” Instead, Darwin says, “We want to build smart cities through open innovation – where knowledge that is once created, cannot be hoarded, where knowledge flows from high to low and knowledge wants to be free. In the old days America achieved greatness because we held knowledge captive in a fortress. But the Internet has changed all that,” says Darwin.

Indeed! As Dr Vinton Cerf explained at Ficci, “When in 1973, we designed the Internet, we debated – should we have intellectual property constraints on it? In the end we decided not to and said ‘let’s just give it away’. So people will have no excuse that it costs a licence and will use it and create further.”

As a result, Cerf described how the Internet grew in an organic way. It thrived on the idea of openness, open source and open standards, and miraculously got distributed across the world cutting all barriers. “People anywhere in the world who had access to technology could build on it,” he said.

And, now in the mobile phone era, a similar thing is happening, pointed out Cerf. “In mobiles, there is an application programming interface. But without knowing anything about how the mobile phone works, by hiding a lot of unnecessary details underneath, you allow hundreds of thousands, literally millions of people to build on top, and they create apps,” he described.

Cerf, who met Union minister for Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad and offered Google’s expertise and technology in bringing the Internet to the entire country, said, “The notion of digital India is very appealing. But there are challenges and obstacles.” But as his little lesson in the Internet’s history showed – the path could well lie in openness and co-creation. Hopefully, the architects are listening.


Source: business today.in

Two of Modi’s pet projects vie for ‘first smart city’ tag

January 12, 2015

smart city

The Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2015 (VGGIS) will tell a tale of two upcoming smart cities in the state — GIFT City and Dholera SIR — both of which are vying for “India’s first smart city” tag.

While the ambitious Rs 81,000-crore GIFT project or the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City has already attracted investments to the tune of Rs 8,500 crore and promises 50,000 white-collar jobs in the services sector in the next two years, Dholera SIR or Special Investment Region is expected to churn out a mix of blue and white-collar jobs in the manufacturing side and is still largely restricted to the drawing board, with promises of over Rs 100,000 crore made in the previous Vibrant summits.

Though Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu spoke of turning New Delhi into country’s first smart city at a formal event on January 3, both these projects in Gujarat are being projected as smart cities to an international audience in this edition of Vibrant Gujarat.

While GIFT city will be projected in a big way in the a special session titled: “Invest in India Summit 2015: Financing for Future Growth” — the biggest seminars to be organised during the summit — the Dholera SIR will see a formal presentation by the GIDB on the project at “Smart Cities for Next Generation”, official sources connected with the VGGIS said.

Smart cities like GIFT embodies the “walk-to-work concept” where the city offers very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city like round the clock water supply, electricity, clean air, quality education, healthcare, security, entertainment, sports, high-speed and efficient urban mobility. These cities will be managed and operated by qualified professionals.

“While people are planning for building smart cities elsewhere in India, we in Gujarat have already gone ahead and implemented the Phase-I of the project. We already have sold land development rights to the tune of 12.6 million square feet, attracting an investment of Rs 8,500 crore,” said Ramakant K Jha, director of Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Ltd (GIFTCL), a joint venture company between state-run Gujarat Urban Development Company Ltd (GUDCL) and a private firm Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), that operates and manages the project.

“Our project is very different from the smart city planned in Dholera. Our is a financial city with stress on the services sector, while Dholera is essentially an industrial city with stress on production and manufacturing. GIFT is a project that is offer white-collar jobs in a densely populated area of operations that will be restricted to 3.58 square kms near an urban city like Ahmedabad, while Dholera will offer a mix of blue and white collar jobs with operations spread over 900 square kms from the city,” said Jha while trying to differentiate both the smart city projects that were envisioned by the state government when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Gujarat chief minister.

GIFT city located near the urban city like Ahmedabad which alreadyhas built two of the 110 high-rise towers and has about 700-1,000 persons working in 16-odd companies that currently operate from premises. “In the next two years, you will surely see at least 50,000 people working at GIFT,” Jha said, adding that the project is estimated to offer 10 lakh jobs when completed and tap the USD 50 billion that India loses to international financial service centres like Singapore, London and Dubai. Meanwhile, Dholera SIR — located about 100 kms from Ahmedabad on the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) — is expected to offer 3.42 lakh jobs by developing a new destination for heavy engineering, automobiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Though investment promises to the tune of Rs 100,000 crore have already been made in the previous editions of Vibrant Gujarat, by companies like Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) and Universal Success Enterprise (USE), Dholera SIR is yet to take off. The project is planned to be developed in three phases, each spread over a period of 10 years. Phase-I, II and III will comprise area of 11,500 hectares, 12,000 hectares and 10,200 hectares, respectively. However, global real-estate consultants like Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) has a slightly different take on both these projects. “While GIFT city located near an urban conglomerate like Ahmedabad can at best be called as a smart project, Dholera which will be built from a scratch will be a smart city. I say so because, the scales of both these projects are different,” said Nirav Kothary, Head-Industrial Services, JLL.


Source: The Indian Express

Singapore sees biz opportunity in govt’s 100 smart city project

January 12, 2015

Singapore sees a huge business opportunity for its companies in the Narendra Modi government's plans to develop 100 smart cities across the country. Reuters File Photo.

Singapore sees a huge business opportunity for its companies in the Narendra Modi government’s plans to develop 100 smart cities across the country.

S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister Second for Trade and Industry, has said that Singapore companies can contribute in building smart cities as they have a strong track record in urban solutions and infrastructure management.

“This is also what our companies are doing in other markets in China and ASEAN countries. Our companies have started doing this here also,” Iswaran told a select group of journalists from India and Singapore here.

The government had announced the setting up of 100 smart cities across the country soon after it came to power in May 26. The first among these is being developed in Dholera, 110 km from Ahmedabad along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

Trade between Singapore, the “largest trade and investment partner” of New Delhi among ASEAN countries, and India is “growing quite well”  and valued at about 25 billion dollars, he said. “There are new opportunities based on the initiatives of new government under Prime Minister Modi. We see this as a way for enhancing bilateral economic cooperation,” he said.

Iswaran had flown to Ahmedabad from New Delhi in the inaugural flight of Vistara, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, on Saturday to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

Complimenting the joint venture, Iswaran said it is an “excellent addition” in bilateral economic ties between India and Singapore. “I think it is a very good development. It will give further momentum to the economic ties between the two countries,” he said.

Asked whether Singapore businesses still experience bottlenecks in dealing with India, he said in any emerging market, there are opportunities as well as challenges. “This is not just specific to India. That is why our businesses and investors need to asses the opportunities and compare it with the risks associated with it,” he said adding the reality is that all governments will have to reconcile the challenges it faces.

Expressing confidence in Modi government, he said, businessmen, especially in Singapore are closely watching the agenda set by the new government. “They see an opportunity. The greater regulatory clarity, the greater the investment incentive is,” he said.


Source: Deccan Herald

First smart city project to get boost at Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015

January 12, 2015

Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015, Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi news, smart city in india, smart city project, smart city project india, smart city project gujarat, smart city project Dholera, Dholera Special Investment Region
Workers carry a huge cut-out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ramlila Maidan as part of preparations for the BJP rally on Friday. (PTI)

As the government draws out the blueprint of 100 smart cities across the country, India’s first smart city project at Dholera is expected to get a boost at the seventh edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

The Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) is expected to be one of the main investment draws at Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 that is also seeking investments for another smart city in the state –the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City as well as other infrastructure and manufacturing projects in the state along with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

The Dholera smart city, being developed along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor has already initiated the tendering process. “We have begun issuing the request for qualifications for building trunk infrastructure. By March, RFQs and RFPs for the initial 22.5 square kilometre area will be issued and we are expecting response from investors across the world,” said Talleen Kumar, CEO of DMIC Development Corporation (DMICDC).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced plans to build 100 smart cities across the country to take care of growing needs of urbanisation that would also help bridge the rural-urban divide. Seeking investments for these projects, the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that kicks off from Sunday is also hosting a seminar on smart cities on January 12 that will be addressed by Union minister for urban development, housing and urban poverty M Venkaiah Naidu.

“We will be announcing the blueprint for smart cities very soon. But the actual implementation and financing has to be done by the state governments along with the local bodies,” said a senior official of the ministry of urban development.

To be spread on a 920 square kilometre area, the Dholera smart city is located about 110 kilometre from Ahmedabad along the DMIC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat had said the port city of Dholera would be better developed than Delhi and would be six times the size of Shanghai.

“There is obviously a lot of excitement over Dholera SIR this time, which is the Prime Minister’s pet project. There are huge expectations and we expect at least a few memorandum of understandings to be signed with potential investors for the region,” said a state government official who did not wish to be named.

Modi kurtas, jackets on sale as souvenirs

Investors coming to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit will not only get a chance to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi hardsell the state as an investment opportunity, but would also have the chance to partake in his sartorial style.

Amidst the souvenir shops being set up at the Mahatma Mandir complex in Gandhinagar that is hosting the summit, is a stall selling Modi jackets and kurtas in the PM’s trademark style inviting visitors to “take home the original souvenir”.“We have been making these kurtas and jackets for nearly a decade and they are available at all our outlets but this is the first time that we have set up a stall here during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and the Vibrant Gujarat Summit,” said Chirag Diwan, marketing manager at Jade Blue.

Available in vibrant and sober colours the kurtas and jackets are made in cotton, linen blend and jute. Prices start at Rs 1,400 for a kurta and Rs 3,000 for a jacket.

Source:The Financial Express

Dec-end deadline for smart cities plan

January 6, 2015

NEW DELHI: With the urban development ministry still caught up in preparing the concept note for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 100 smart cities scheme, the PMO has set this month end as the deadline to make a final presentation. Sources said the deadline is aimed at fast-tracking the scheme so that some work can start by the end of this financial year.

The ministry is staring at surrendering most of the Rs 6,274 crore budget allocated this year for the smart cities programme and a new mission for renewal of urban infrastructure in place of JNNURM. TOI has learnt that so far about Rs 800 crore from this allocation has been utilized under urban transport head and another Rs 200 crore could be used by March.

Since the conceptualization of smart city project and the new mission to replace JNNURM are still under process, there is hardly any scope for the ministry to utilize substantial allocation. “You can’t utilize more than 33% of the unutilized allocation in the last quarter,” a government source said.
Meanwhile, with the government yet to finalize the new urban renewal mission, the future of about 250 unfinished infrastructure projects in big cities under JNNURM is hanging in balance. The Centre has stopped releasing any fund for these works. Sources said the ministry in its new mission proposal to the Cabinet will include the provision to provide about Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 crore annually for such projects so that these can be completed.

Pushing for completion of these projects, a parliamentary panel on UD has observed, “It would be a monumental waste of public money to have expended thousands of crores on incomplete projects only due to the lack of coordination and flexibility between Central and state governments. This would be a most undesirable state of affairs.”

The committee found that no urban infrastructure project has been completed in the seven mission cities of Uttar Pradesh while only 33 out of 71 projects in Gujarat, 16 out of 46 projects in Karnataka and 17 out of 50 projects in Andhra Pradesh have been completed. It has recommended completing at least all remaining projects of JNNURM within a time-bound manner and these should be funded by the Centre.


Source:Times Of India

Essel Group adds Maharashtra for developing smart cities

January 6, 2015

Essel Group, India’s leading businessconglomerate, is aggressively pursuing thedevelopment of smart cities in the country. After announcing plans for the states of Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, the group has now brought Maharashtra into the list of states for development.

Targeting cities with population of more than 5 lakh, the group will be looking at markets like Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad with world class smart city developments in the next five years.

Speaking of the company’s vision, Subhash Chandra, chairman, Essel Group, said, “We see smart utilities as a blueprint for the future of smart and connected cities in India. We want to collaborate with the Maharashtra state government in delivering good governanceand services to citizens and helping transform the way citizens will live, work, play and learn.”

Accordingly, the company will bid for turnkey projects in Maharashtra from planning and designing stage to funding and implementation of projects, in creating a smart city habitat.

Essel Group’s integrated utilities company – Essel Utilities & Distribution Company Limited (EUDCL) will focus on nurturing smarter communities across major cities in Maharashtra by undertaking projects in power and water distribution services, municipal solid waste management, sewage treatment, drainage and storm water management, city wi-fi, cable and broadband, city gas distribution and intelligent traffic management systems. These services will be offered through a single-window solution model based on SIPC (Smart Integrator and Principal Contractor) concept, thus delivering an all-in-one conduit to consumers. This will be a first-of-its kind concept where all utility services will be offered under one roof.

Essel group had committed to invest Rs 7,500 crore towards transforming five major cities of Madhya Pradesh into state-of-the-art smart cities and is evaluating development projects in infrastructure utility worth Rs 50,000 crore in the years to come. So far the group has invested Rs 5,000 crore for similar projects in Madhya Pradesh. According to the company management, projects of this scale will help generate employment opportunity to a huge number of people and transform the way cities and communities are designed, built and renewed to ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Kamal Maheshwari, president, Smart City Business, said, “With our pioneering spirit of venturing in futuristic arena, Essel Utilities will work towards developing inclusive and smart cities in India with world’s leading eco-system partners, thus transforming the quality of life of citizens across cities. We are looking forward to closely work with the central and state government in formulating the governance and policy framework, and sustainable financial model for Smart Cities.”

Essel Utilities presently manages power distribution franchise in Sagar & Ujjain (MP), Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and Nagpur (Maharashtra). Shortly, the company will also be managing power distribution services for Gwalior in MP. The company also manages the water distribution franchise in Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and Bhagalpur (Bihar).

The company has also been awarded seven projects in solid waste management in Deonar (Mumbai), Jabalpur (MP), Pallavapuram (Chennai), Surat (Gujarat), Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Bangalore (Karnataka). It further intends to foray into various other verticals such as city gas distribution and, cable and broadband in major cities of India. The company is targeting a top line revenue of close to Rs 2,000 crore and a reach of more than 2 million consumer households by 2015-16.



Surat Set To Become India’s First Smart City Under Microsoft’s CityNext Project

January 6, 2015

Microsoft CityNext has partnered with Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) to develop Surat as a smart city with advanced urban planning and citizen empowerment processes never heard in India.

Using Big Data, Internet and eGovernance, CityNext will help to make the city as a model of development and progress.

Microsoft CityNext

Milind Torawane, Surat municipal commissioner said, “We are excited to partner with Microsoft to transform Surat into a sustainable and competitive city that cares for its citizens,”

Some of the vital areas where Microsoft and SMC will work together to develop Surat as a Smart City include:

  • Hi-tech Urban Planning using Big Data and real time information
  • Water management solutions
  • Waste management system
  • RTI mechanism
  • Vaccination Alert System
  • Property Tax payments
  • Birth/Death Registrations
  • Uniform Application Tracking system
  • Disease analytics and reporting mechanism for hospitals
  • Development of a City Dashboard to track and analyze all development projects under a single umbrella
    And more….

Niranjan Zanzmera, Mayor – Surat said, “By transforming Surat into a smart city, we are setting a benchmark for other cities in the country on how IT solutions can help empower citizens and address cities biggest challenges and fuel economic growth.”

Why Surat?

With 4.6 million people, Surat is Gujarat’s second largest city and a major economic hub. It is India’s 9th largest metropolitan area and World’s 4th fastest developing city (as per study conducted by City Mayors Foundation).

As per GDP ranking of Indian cities, it is ranked 8th with a GDP of $40 billion, with estimates of $57 billion GDP by 2050.

The city is popular for it’s diamond trade, and it singlehandedly accounts for 99% of global diamond polishing and cutting industry. Surat exports $15 billion worth of diamonds from India, which is highest in Asia.

Despite being such a major economic hub, Surat witnessed a devastating plague outbreak in 1994, which killed 54 people, and created a state of terror in and around the city. Major travel restrictions were put into place, and city suffered heavily for it. Proper urban planning and timely action could have prevented such an incidence at one of India’s richest cities.

What Is Microsoft CityNext?

It can be described as a ‘people-first’ initiative by Microsoft to provide a platform for citizens and government to use technology as a medium for development and progress. CityNext empowers governments, citizens and businesses to literally transform their cities and their future. Every plan and blueprint devised by CityNext aims to create a greener, healthier and prosperous communities.

CityNext has already delivered stunning results in ParisAuckland and Washington DCwhere they have introduced faster public transport system, solved their energy problems and introduced world class technological solutions to improve city life.

Last week, they had announced similar people-centric projects for major Kenyan citiesas well, where the work has already started.

Which other Indian cities should be converted into a smart city? Do share your views by commenting right here!


Source: Trak.in

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