MUMBAI: The private sector will play a pivotal role in the development of smart cities, according to a study taken up to gauge the challenges before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Smart City’ and AMRUT projects.
Conducted jointly by the World Economic Forum and PricewaterhouseCoopers ( PwC), it also said that problems in areas of water, waste management, energy and mobility would exacerbate if timely action is not taken.
The private sector will play a pivotal role with support needed to deliver much needed infrastructure and help address capacity issues across state governments and urban local bodies (ULBs), it stated.
It further said that the global urban population is set to rise to over 66 per cent by 2050, and India is a significant contributor to it.
While the country’s urban population currently totals around 410 million people (32 per cent of the total population), it is expected to reach 814 million (50 per cent) by 2050, as per the report.
“But the growth of India’s urban population has not been accompanied with commensurate increases in urban infrastructure and service delivery capabilities. As a result, cities in India face a range of challenges in areas such as water, waste management, energy, mobility, the built environment, education, healthcare and safety,” it said.
As per the report, these challenges may exacerbate further if timely and adequate action is not taken, and if neglected, it could even derail India’s growth.
“This is why the plan announced by the Government of India for 100 smart cities and 500 Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities is so important,” it stated.
Taking the leap to smart cities requires more than just government proclamation, the report added.