Sustainable Smart Cities is the Way Ahead for inclusive Economic Growth Session II

Addressing the session on “Smart Cities and Sustainable Development”, Mr. Nilesh Purey , vice President, ICT, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Co. Ltd ( GIFT)   spoke about GIFT  which is being implemented as a globally benchmarked International Financial Service Centre. GIFT is a classic example of a public private model  developed by the Government of Gujarat through a joint venture between its undertaking Gujarat Urban Development Company Ltd. (GUDCL) and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. ( IL&FS) . Recognizing the potential of the State as a centre for the financial services industry, GIFT is being conceptualized as a financial and IT Services hub to capitalize on the in- house financial business acumen.  Located between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, GIFT is easily accessible through 4-6 lane State and national Highways and will be in the proximity of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).  It is estimated that GIFT would provide 5, 00,000 direct jobs and an equal number of indirect jobs. Supported by state of  the  art internal infrastructure, GIFT CITY is being developed as an integrated smart city which will also host social and residential facilities like School, Training Centre, Business Club, Retail Mall, Hotel and Residential Apartments.

Dr. Amiya Kumar Sahu, Founder, National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI), lamented that our country has remained oblivious to the needs of garbage and waste management, a prerequisite for any smart city.  Dr. Sahu said that smart cities must be built in a designated area far away from the existing large metropolises so as to keep these cities insulated from outside waste. This will ensure clean air and clean water. A major challenge before the smart cities will be the management of e-waste.  Smart cities will generate and absorb a huge amount of high-tech gadgets resulting in huge quantity of e-waste. This will pose great environmental threat to these cities.  Further, modern lifestyle and change in food habits will lead to enormous amount of dry waste which needs to be treated. Therefore the aim of the smart cities should be to promote zero garbage concept by handling waste properly.  According to Dr. Sahu, waste can be recycled to produce energy and he advocated the setting up of waste – based power plants owned by the public sector.

Mr. Sanjeev Thukral, Country Sales Head and Director , Steria India Pvt. Ltd. emphasized on the need for efficient services  to fulfill  the basic needs of human beings. All urban services should be synchronized and coordinated in a manner so as to produce the desired benefits for the people living in these smart cities. Services should be seamlessly connected. Therefore, connectivity is the fundamental aspect. Every smart city must support a central command and control solution to ensure smooth and intelligent transport and traffic.  Mr Thukral highlighted on the Steria Intelligent Transport Solution which integrates different public transport systems. Finally, Mr Thukral stressed on the need for intelligent traffic management which is a basic requirement of any smart city.

Mr. Apurba Dhar, Director, BD RATP Dev Transdev India, said in an urban setting, there is an increasing number of interconnected and even overlapping transportation services. The development of information technology has led to a new form of mobility that combines transportation, information, innovation and socializing. To travel better, make the right choices and set preferences, a whole range of Mobility Companies are available for traveler’s use. Mobility Centers provide each passenger with the necessary information and services to prepare and organize their day to day travel from door to door and from one mode to another, including pedestrian.  RATP Dev Transdev is a pioneer in the development of digital mobility solutions.

Mr. NDS Chari, Senior Vice President and Head of Key Accounts and Partnerships, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd. discussed the importance of financing and revenue generation mechanisms. Mr. Chari laid emphasis on selecting the right funding partner and advocated their involvement right from the start of the project planning.  Mr Chari spoke of holistic financing since according to him financiers and bankers have a major stake in the project.

The session concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms Laura Prasad, Secretary General, Indo French Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

photo 3 29-1-2015From (L-R) : Ms. Laura Prasad, Secretary General, Indo French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI), Mr. Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries and Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre, Mr. Apurbha Dhar, Director‐ Business Development, RATP DEV Transdev India Private Limited, Mr. Nilesh Purey, Vice President- ICT, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), Mr. Bhaskar Som, Country Head, IRR Services Pvt. Ltd.,  Dr. Amiya Kumar Sahu, Founder, National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI), Mr. NDS Chari, Sr. Vice President and Head of Key Accounts and Partnerships, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd., Mr.  Sanjeev Thukral, Country Sales Head and Director, Steria India Pvt. Ltd., Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, All India Association of Industries and Director – Projects, MVIRDC World Trade Centre during the interactive panel discussion on ‘Smart Cities in India: Reality in the Making’ jointly organized by All India Association of Industries and  MVIRDC World Trade Centre along with the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry.