Why are Smart Cities Important ?

Smart CityModi’s dream project is building 100 Smart Cities across the country and the 2014 Budget has laid out a road map by providing the fund of Rs 7,060 crore? But what are these smart cities? Are they good investment options? Magicbricks asks the experts. 

In his Budget-day speech, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Smart Cities will be developed as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernizing the existing mid-sized cities. 

Apart from the allocation of Rs 7,060 c .. Magic bricks reveals the other key steps aimed at encouraging the development of Smart Cities and their impact on the Property Market. These include, requirement of built-up area being reduced from 50,000 sq. m to 20,000 sq. m and capital conditions for FDI that have been brought down from USD10 million to USD 5 million, with just a three year post-completion lock-in period.

What are Smart Cities?So will these Smart Cities be planned on the same lines as upcoming cities, such as Lavasa, Auroville and Pallava?” asked Magicbricks. “Cities like Lavasa are not considered home for lower or middle-class income groups but are targeted towards the upper middle class. The government is keen on focusing housing for all and that can be possible only through affordable housing.” replied Dr. PR Swarup, director general, Construction Industry DevelopmentCouncil (CIDC), at the `Magicbricks Budget Discussion on Real Estate & Urban Infrastructure’ organized by Magicbricks recently. But are these efforts enough to convert this vision into a reality? Is this enough? Magicbricks asked real estate experts to find out. “The seed has been sown, the vision is bang-on, the intent is there and it is a welcome move. But the actual question is how and when will this be implemented,” added Dr. Swarup. Speaking to Magic bricks he he added “The allocated money is just like ‘token money’. The amount translates into a meager Rs. 70 crore per city, which is not enough to develop one whole city. The blueprint of this dream is still in the pipeline. Identification, time-lining and definition of the concept still remain to be executed. There is also a question mark on how they will provide 24×7 water and electricity, transit, jobs, etc.”

Why Smart Cities?Magicbricks data clearly shows that development in the country is city-centric and is thus, making a large number of people migrate to the fast-developing cities. The Finance Minister substantiated this fact when he stated, “The pace of migration from the rural areas to the cities is increasing. A neo-middle class is emerging which has the aspiration of better living standards. Unless new cities are developed to accommodate the burgeoning number of people, the existing cities would soon become unlivable.” Source : Economics Times