Smart Cities Mission 2.0,Against All Odds!
When the pandemic pressed the ultimate pause button, the whole world came to a halt. Let alone navigating the infrastructure development, the governments across the countries were trying hard to keep their neck above water. It’s not surprising that the union government’s already ambling Smart City mission came to a standstill after the lockdown was initiated.
The amount released for various Smart City initiatives stood at Rs.17,000 crore before
lockdown, while only Rs.6,160 crore was used. In the big picture, only 13 percent of the planned projects were completed during the period from 2017 to 2020.
It’s a great omen that the government restarted the Smart Cities Mission as soon as the country-wide lockdown was lifted. Out of the total Rs.2,05,018 crore earmarked for the mission, around Rs.41000 crore has already been used to complete around 2500 projects. Currently, while the work order has been issued for 4953 projects at a cost of Rs.1,40,767 crore, around 5700 projects across 100 cities have been tendered for a cost of Rs.1,73,805 crore. Quite lucidly, the government has upped its game with the Smart Cities Mission 2.0. The expenditure in post lockdown months of July, August and September is double the expenditure in pre-Covid months. This can be easily interpreted as much better opportunities for the technology industry.
However, India centric innovations will be key to hack into these opportunities. It’s pretty much a sure bet that the western models will be hardly the right fit in a country like India, accounting to the unique climate conditions, population and culture. While it’s appreciable the way Indian companies, especially startups, have approached this challenge, going forward, they will have to think further outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. This issue of CIO Insider is all about such technology companies that are well positioned to act on these challenges.
Do let us know your thoughts.