Govt should ensure affordable housing in smart cities

Sunday, Nov 15, 2015,11:59 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | The government must step in to ensure that housing facilities are affordable and inclusive in proposed smart cities and these modern urban hubs should have a plan for vertical expansion in future. The success of the Modi government’s ‘smart cities’ project will depend on better planning and provision of basic requirements in these cities, the report by Dun & Bradstreet has said.

It said that knowing the burden that migration can impose on city resources, it is very important for smart cities to be planned in a way that they can expand vertically. Redevelopment of old properties and development of satellite cities can help manage this impending situation. Most importantly, the government must also step in to ensure that the housing facilities are affordable and inclusive, it said.

The government has already announced the list of 100 cities which it plans to make ‘smart’ by providing efficient physical, social, institutional and economic infrastructure. The government has defined a smart city in the Indian context as a city that provides a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment, and supports the application of smart solutions.

The smart cities programme would be a great boon if implemented well. It must be ensured that the benefits of smart cities are all-pervasive and available to all. Most importantly, there must be focus on better planning and provision of basic requirements in these smart cities, the report said. Availability of water and power are absolutely critical.
Focusing on construction of earthquake-resistant buildings and efficient drainage and waste disposal management systems is also very important, the report noted. Without focusing on these bare necessities, the smart cities programme will not provide the desired impact. Nonetheless, the smart cities programme offers endless opportunities to infrastructure companies, not just for business, but also in terms of actively participating in propelling the nation towards rapid growth, the report said.

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