With overpopulated cities and their strained infrastructure, India is already in the midst of a crisis. Given the country’s population growth and unchecked migration to urban areas, the path ahead looks even more difficult. To get a perspective on the massive challenge ahead for India, let’s look at some statistics: According to the World Bank, almost 10 mn people migrate from rural to urban areas in India every year. Further, by 2020, 70% of people will be living in cities.
As the urban population swells, there will be greater demands on the already strained city infrastructures, which in turn will impact vital services such as transportation, healthcare, education, and public safety. To this end, the concept of smart cities can truly prove path-breaking in changing the face of the country. No wonder, conceptualization and creation of smart cities is high on the agenda for Indian government, which has earmarked an investment of Rs 50,000 crore for the development of 100 smart cities.
TECHNOLOGY CENTRAL TO REALIZING THE SMART CITY DREAM
For a city to be smart and connected, the first requirement is for a new-age broadband infrastructure which would include cable, optical fiber, and wireless network. It should have the capacity to meet the network usage requirements of entire populace of the city. With an increasing number of devices getting connected to the Internet, termed Internet of Things and in the wake of ever increasing use of mobile applications, having a best in class broadband infrastructure would enable citizens to access smart city applications as per their requirements.
An important step would be to make sure that smart devices and sensors are embedded in the infrastructure of the city. These devices would provide the city administration with the realtime data, alerts, and analytics along with a rich experience to the citizens – Vineet Kshirsagar, Senior Director & Group Head Businesses, Oracle
Vineet Kshirsagar, Senior Director & Group Head Businesses, Oracle believes, “An important step would be to make sure that smart devices and sensors are embedded in the infrastructure of the city. These devices would provide the city administration with the real-time data, alerts, and analytics along with a rich experience to the citizens. This collective intelligence would also assist in connecting the citizens of the city and the city administration. The real-time data and analytics would be critical for health, judicial, police, fire, and many more administrative departments, thus keeping crimes and public grievances at bay.” Another important step would be the development of smart urban areas, which would use ICT technologies in an innovative manner to benefit the environment and economy. These areas would offer Wi-Fi spots, charging points for electric cars, buildings with smart cooling/heating systems, and information kiosks.