Even while Parliament is discussing the Budget proposals, the Centre has started the spadework for the five new smart cities. The department for promotion of industry and internal trade is working closely with ministry of housing and urban affairs to finalise a template for the proposed smart cities. According to sources, the new smart cities would be developed as investment hubs and not follow the present urban concept of retrofitting and developing a small area of a city as a smart city.
A source, involved in the exercise, told ET, “The smart cities would be on the lines of GIFT and special economic zones (SEZs). These are not cities to solve urban problems instead these would be areas which would be set up to attract private investment. These cities would be set up as business districts, or townships, over a large area dedicated to a certain activity, including manufacturing, or a certain sector.” The Centre is considering different factors like state government’s industrial policies and economic health as the cities would be developed on public-private-partnership model with state and Centre both contributing financially.
The new smart cities would be developed as cities with a new transport system, metro lines connected with international airports and cargo terminals, automatic or intelligent transit system, underground electricity cabling, dedicated use of renewable sources of energy, automated garbage collection system, waste water treatment plants and an overall sustainable green city.