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Partnering for the Smart Future

Headed for smart city mission, the public-private partnership (PPP) is critical among the possible business models. A successful PPP model needs a close coordination between state governments, civic bodies and the private players.

“Rome was not built in a day”, John Heywood, the eminent playwright while creating his famous saying must have had the future of the cities in his mind. In India too, the transition from ‘Cities’ to ‘Smart Cities’ might take some time, but the groundwork towards renovation is already in place. Times changed and so did technologies, as innovation keeps on propelling, cities aim to deliver not only the best framework or physical capital, but also are endeavoring to provide sustainable social infrastructure.

The Government of India has already set out on ‘Smart Cities Mission’, one of the Prime Minister’s ambitious projects and has identified 100 cities to be developed into Smart Cities. Economic growth and enhancing the quality of life of its citizens are the prime drivers of the mission.

The Smart Cities Mission, along with the advancement of the entire city has a prime focus on Area Based Development (ABD). Identifying, dividing and strategically developing different areas in the city is definitely a unique concept which eventually will lead to the holistic development of the city.

Headed for smart city mission, the public-private partnership (PPP) is critical among the possible business models. A successful PPP model needs a close coordination between state governments, civic bodies and the private players. To be precise, cities need funds to empower themselves with cutting edge technologies, world class infrastructure and develop & manage their increasing demands. The total fund contribution from private sector in the Smart Cities Mission is expected to be marginal.

To be specific, in light of the PPP model, the Raipur City has concocted projects like Smart Parking, Smart Payment System, Solid Waste management, Roof Top Solar Project, and area based market redevelopment projects. The private firms from the respective domains have been finalised to invest, take ownership, maintain, and eventually share a percentage of profits with the municipal bodies. The consultants in respective projects would be doing a regular assessment of concerned projects to ensure that all parameters in the contract are being met.

The Smart Parking project is extensively based on utilisation of advanced technologies to enable drivers locate, reserve, and pay for parking. The project incorporates Smart Parking innovative solutions, to provide information on the accessibility of parking slots in real time, monitoring of entry and exit, card based and other payment options, mobile app based parking guidance system. Smart Payment System is envisaged to bring about an enormous ease to citizens by way of paying electronically using a smart card for all perceivable services including city transport, municipal services, entertainment and amusement activities, parking, bill payments, utility payments etc. Smart Waste Management, Roof Top Solar Project, and area based market redevelopment projects are likewise based on PPP model.  

In a PPP model, the local Government & municipal bodies have a key role to play. The active involvement of civic bodies can promote reinvestment and modernization of the city, utilizing finances, strategies, public-private partnerships, and performance-based revenue models. All of these will ensure a long-term value for the municipal bodies, businesses, citizens, and the city as a whole.

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