Model Question and Answers for APSC | In the context of poor quality of human life in India, Discuss the objectives and strategy of the Smart City Program. (APSC Mains-2018)

Model Question and Answers for APSC | In the context of poor quality of human life in India, Discuss the objectives and strategy of the Smart City Program.  (APSC Mains-2018)

Ans : As per estimates, 25-30 people migrate every minute to major Indian cities as cities offer not just greater economic opportunities but promise a higher quality of life. But, in the past few decades, there has been increasing urban decay and decreasing quality of life. Across major indicators on the quality of life – water supply, public transportation, parks and public spaces, sewage treatment, solid waste, slum population Indian cities are lacking behind. Also, the quality of urban services isn’t commensurate with the needs of growing urbanization (Now around 31% expected to grow to 50% by 2030).
Objectives of Smart India Programme:
In this context, Smart India Programme was launched with the objectives of
1. Providing basic infrastructure: In synergy with AMRUT it includes smart solutions towards providing affordable housing, efficient urban mobility, Assured water & electricity supply, Sanitation & Solid Waste Management, Affordable Housing, Robust IT connectivity, health and education, e-governance & citizen participation, Safety & security of citizens, Economic
Activities & Livelihood Opportunities.
2. Improving the Quality of life.

3. Clean and sustainable environment.
4. Applying Smart Solutions to urban problems: It is the application of IT&C to municipal services and infrastructure to make them better. Eg: Safe city project with City-wide intelligent video surveillance network, Real-time, online systems of monitoring water quality etc.
5. To set examples to be replicated both within and outside the Smart City and catalyze the creation of similar Smart Cities.
Strategies:
1. Pan-city initiative: It envisages the application of selected Smart Solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure. Eg: Applying smart solutions in the transport sector (intelligent traffic management system) and reducing average commute time or cost to citizens will have positive effects on productivity and quality of life of citizens.
2. Area-based approach: Itdevelop areas step-by-step based on three models of area-based developments: Retrofitting; Redevelopment; Greenfield.
3. Retrofitting: It is the development of an existing built area greater than 500 acres so as to achieve the objective of smart cities mission to make it more efficient and livable e.g. Local Area Development (Ahmedabad).
4. Redevelopment: It is replacing the existing built environment in an area of more than 50 acres and to enable co-creation of a new layout, especially enhanced infrastructure, mixed land use and increased density e.g. Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai.
5. Greenfield: It is developing a previously vacant area of more than 250 acres using innovative planning, plan to finance and plan implementation tools with provision for affordable housing, especially for the poor e.g. Net Town, Kolkotta. Smart City Programme envisages providing smart solutions and a clean & safe environment to every citizen. Thus Smart City Programme is a huge step towards improving the quality of urban life.