Building Smart Cities in India: some challenges

S.D. Hegde, R.M. Holmukhe
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), IN

Keywords: smart city, technology, infrastructure, efficiency


The rising trend of urbanization in India is increasingly causing stress on existing infrastructure and environmental systems, thus adversely affecting the quality of life of city dwellers. With about 1.21 billion people, India is currently the world’s second largest country, representing a full 17% of the earth’s population. More than two-third of its population will be living in cities by year 2050. This will create a situation of over-crowded cities, congestions due to heavy traffic jams, pollution due to climate changes, rigid & grossly inadequate public infrastructure, high crime rate owing to resources limitations and energy crisis. The reasons for underdevelopment of Indian cities are conflicting requirements, fragmented and politicized decision-making, high maintenance costs, low returns on investments which are hard to justify, poor standards, limited budgets and lack of supportive management processes. All these problems pose challenges for efficient working systems. Time has come for developing countries like India to move towards smart cities. Smart city is a very complex system of systems of living, food, education, traffic, entertainments and healthcare. In a smart city, there are opportunities for technology advances like smart grid which can make maximum use of energy including decentralized renewable sources, smart transport, sustainability etc.