Smart Cities – Is this an eyewash?

Government of India announced names of 20 cities under ‘Smart Cities Mission’ in January 2016. However the mission was launched with good intentions of making Indian cities better than present conditions.

The general budget of 2016-17 also earmarked an amount of INR 3,205 crore under the mission for the development of 100 smart cities across the country by 2020.

As concerns were raised while announcement for such a mission, concerns were raised on the implementation model, timelines, accountability and were not clearly addressed 7 months later, it seem to be failed to take a start.  It’s fate seem to be like many other schemes which got announced, meager funds also allotted but due to proper planning ,execution plan and setting up accountability have flopped the scheme even before start.

Other Urban Schemes –

Although there is another less heard scheme AMRUT which aims at improving basic infrastructure in cities has been allotted Rs 4,091 crore in general budget. But, corruption seem to have over-taken all government schemes whose results are not visible on ground.

Definitely Indian cities are facing the heat of population explosion, but BJP led NDA government at center has to ensure basic needs to be fulfilled in cities before going after aerial castles –

Free and Clean Water
Good Roads
Robust Waste Management systems
Control over un-checked and illegal construction

Indians were badly fed up with in-efficiency of past Congress government and see no better options as far as services delivered to common man are concerned. Modi government has the challenge to over-turn this feeling among people before it’s too late in 2019.

Author: Rajpal Fogawat

An IT Professional and Political Swaraj Enthusiast. Desperately want to see better India. Currently stays in Panaji.