Smart City means different things to different people; for some it is a very technologically advanced city and for some it means getting all the basic necessities for a normal lifestyle. Smart City basically consists of all those aspects which make a city better like waste management, water management, better standard of living, good transportation and security for every citizen. Smart Cities are also known as Future Smart Cities due to the fact that they comprise of basic amenities with upgraded and newer technologies which will ease the life of citizens.
As technology and good standard of living plays its vital role in affecting the life of every individual in India, we Indians are on the verge of a colossal change which will provide us with good infrastructure facilities, basic necessities and proper living conditions. We all know how rapidly the population in India is growing and this wouldn’t come as shocking news to us but we lack behind in providing basic amnesties to our people. Our government has many growth plans for the citizens but we will definitely need to invest more to make our cities more liveable. Urbanization is increasing at a very rapid pace and people usually migrate to those cities which are well developed. We need to develop more cities into 2nd tier cities or metro cities because cities like Mumbai or Pune are already over populated and there are already facing challenges with providing infrastructure facilities to each and every citizen. As more and more people migrate to our major cities and the cities face stress and major breakdown, the quality life of the current citizens will deteriorate which will result in poor lifestyle.
Currently in India, 31% of population lives in cities and contribute 63% of the GDP and till 2030, 40% of population will be residing in cities.
The Government in 2015 had given a challenge to all the cities in India to become participate in the Smart City challenge by showing willingness to change and provide all the facilities to their citizens by completing all the norms which are necessary for a city to become a Smart City. ‘India’s 100 Smart City Challenge’ was the first round where 100 Indian cities were choosen who would go into the next round with next phase of developments across the cities. This challenge has been taken very seriously ever since as all the government officials and city administrators participating enthusiastically with clear vision of what their city should be.
Making our cities smart is thus a bold move by our government because they are revised with what development is needed and how much time it will take. There are a lot of feedbacks in our society by the people on whether or not the ‘Smart City’ initiative will benefit the life on Indians.
The Smart City plan suggests simple solutions for our day-to-day complex needs. There are multiple solutions which will ease the life of citizens if they are implemented in a city. In a Smart City, the information and communication technology (ICT) is used for super intelligent and efficient use of resources and cost through energy savings which in turn provides improved quality of life and reduced environmental footprint. The ICT technology makes use of the current data of the city and which state it is in so that quality changes can be made in real-time. With growing needs of our increasing population, we need to implement those solutions and provide those facilities which an individual can benefit from and can better his living conditions.
Let’s take one point at a time and discuss over it if it can actually better the life on Indians
We have already started implementing GPS systems in our vehicle where we can detect the location of the vehicle or a person as the GPS system also helps in making our drive smooth by avoiding traffic congestion and helping us to reach our destination in minimum time. We use smart traffic sensors which avoids accidents by collecting data on peak traffic hours. Our streets are much safer after we have installed cameras and traffic signal sensors which record the movements of vehicle to guide us at the right time. For parking your vehicle, we have implemented smart parking solutions which alerts the person concerned to park your car whenever there is a vacant parking spot in crowded parking area.
Efficient use of energy
Planning the use of energy in the entire city is a very important task because smartly distributing the energy for commercial building, homes, schools and hospitals is important and there should be no power failure, so the energy should be consumed responsibly.
We finally have smart homes in India which comprises of smart appliances inside the house which are connected to the internet and we can access it through our smartphones. Intelligent cooling, smart lights are some of the examples of smart homes.
As the Smart City project will definitely generate a lot of digital footprint of the citizens, there will be questions raised regarding the privacy of the citizen’s data. But then again with all these solutions for the Smart City, there can be a smart solution for security which won’t let any person misuse or steal an individual’s private data.
If you ask me the question that if the Smart City plan will improve the life of Indian’s? Then my answer is, YES; due to the fact that I can only see positives of this project if it is implemented point-to-point. Upgrade in lifestyle can differ from person to person, for one it can be smart home but for another person it can be a good paying job. So to answer this question it is a bit early but we will definitely experience a good lifestyle if everything promised to us is delivered.