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Environmental Policies Vital For Smart Cities

Environmental policies therefore will be vital, as the country moves towards setting up Smart Cities. There will be an increased demand for digital technology and innovation for enabling a better quality of life and adequate resources for all.

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WITH Central Government’s Smart City Mission, the prominence of sustainability and eco-efficiency becomes an essential part for the city developers and governments in India. It is clear that smart cities are not just forward thinking when it comes to the best ways to serve the public but are also a set of groundbreaking efforts to include sustainability and energy efficiency into developing smart city solutions.

Environmental policies therefore will be vital, as the country moves towards setting up Smart Cities. There will be an increased demand for digital technology and innovation for enabling a better quality of life and adequate resources for all. Apart from the connectivity and digitalization of these cities, two other key elements that
need focus are water and energy efficiency of all systems and solutions being used. Most people are not aware of the fact that pumps account for 10 per cent of the world’s energy consumption. If we replace all the inefficient pumps with efficient ones, we could easily save up to 5 per cent of the world’s energy.

According to Bloomberg, presently, around 240 million Indians have no access to electricity. Government has been taking initiatives to solve this issue through solar,
wind, thermal and nuclear energy. As a result, over the past few years we have seen a rapid growth in the usage of solar power.

It is also imperative to have intelligent and efficient water and wastewater management systems in place. An intelligent water management solutioncan limits water
leakages and losses, minimising cost and energy. 

Another critical issue to look at is the metering of water. Without pricing water, we will not have a sustainable solution. Currently we do not pay even what it costs to pump water to our homes leave alone cleaning it. Like our electricity board, we need to have metering of our usage of water and differential pricing.

Smart City will not become smart unless we have the citizens of the city adopt a sustainability mind-set. Individuals will need to start adopting eco-friendly practices and products. This can be achieved by starting to inculcate these ‘green habits’ from the school level itself. It is easier to drive home the sustainability viewpoints through the children.

Though the idea of smart city is great, implementing the same is a hard step. All the stakeholders should have a clear understanding of the deliverables, must be aligned and should be aware of their roles and responsibilities to complete the mission successfully.

There is a huge need for skilled workers to complete this mission. Government should take sufficient steps to provide adequate training to them. At the same time, it is equally important that citizens should start opting for sustainable products and practices to achieve the ‘Smart City’ title fast. To enjoy the facilities of a smart city, we need to put efforts from our end rather than completely depending on the Government. Each of us as stakeholders have an important role to play and ensure we get the best.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house