Finally a smart Pune

Pune is named as one of the 100 ‘Smart Cities’ the current government plans to give the citizens. FPJ Correspondent reports.

It seems that Pune will be soon known as one of the smart cities of India. The city is known for its wonderful climate, academics and entrepreneurs, it is one of the cities that are changing fast under the pressure of increasing population and growing demand for energy, housing, transport and public facilities. The new government’s sharp focus on creating 100 ‘Smart Cities’ in India and Pune being one of them is a good sign of all Pune residents. We tried to find out what will be Pune like if it really comes out to be a smart city.

The Maharashtra government will submit a proposal of 10 potential smart cities to the Centre by July end on the basis of financial capacity. According to the proposal the cities which have the capacity to raise an initial fund of Rs 50 crore and additionally spend Rs 200 crore annually for next five years, will be selected for the ‘Smart City’ project.

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) population is almost 35 lakh that may grow to 50 lakh by 2030, the larger PMR (Pune Metropolitan Region) may have 80 lakh population by then. In Pune, its local leadership had promised that the city will be a part of the plan. Recently, local MP Anil Shirole made a presentation to the Centre about how Pune would spruce up itself to be a part of PM Modi’s ambitious programme. Recently the PMC officials participated in a special meeting held in New Delhi to finalise a framework for the smart cities plan. Commissioners from four cities in Maharashtra – Pune, Mumbai, Nashik and Nagpur – were invited for this special programme along with representatives of other cities in the country. The cities provided inputs, plans and expectations.

On Pune becoming a Smart city, Sachin Kulkarni, Managing Director, Vastushodh Projects, says, “Pune on smart city plan is welcome! As a city there is an infrastructure backlog of 20 years in Pune and we truly need a some really smart planning n implementation of programmes that improve traffic, solid waste mgmt, drainage n water supply along with security and environmental issues. As a developer, in the long run we will definitely benefit from all good that happens to this city!”

He was supported by Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd, who added “With the new government’s sharp focus on creating 100 ‘Smart Cities’ in India, the subject of the ‘IT Effect’ the real estate markets of cities once again takes centre-stage. Needless to say, Pune is one of the cities with very notable IT presence. Information technology has worked very well for Pune’s real estate market in the past, and it will continue to be its most decisive driving factor in the future. The most important reason why information technology has such a positive effect on a city’s real estate market is the scale and quality of employment it generates.

Of course, it takes more than just IT-driven real estate development to make a smart city. The Government’s Smart Cities mission focuses equally on sustainable real estate, high-grade communication networks, infrastructure, transparent and smooth governance and technology-driven processes to promote quality of life.”

Pune’s inclusion in the government’s ‘Smart Cities’ initiative would be a massive break-through for the entire city – both in terms of its overall economy and its real estate market. The exact parameters for qualification are yet to be announced, but measures can be taken to boost Pune’s chances as a candidate. Many initiatives are already underway – for instance, the Pune Municipal Corporation has undertaken credit rating of its civic body based on the assets of revenue collection, properties, manpower and efficiency with which civic services delivery and infrastructure development are taking place in the city. IT experts have also been appointed to digitalize the PMC’s administrative processes so as to promote quicker and more effective services.

Senior government official said that the central government has given certain criteria. “The urban bodies have to submit the proposal and this has to be in tandem with the Centre-issued criteria. These urban bodies will have to fulfill key prominent benchmarks that include reforms in the administration, improvement in tax collection, improvement in water supply and underground drainage systems,” he said.

“Pune has emerged as a top city for living and doing business not just in India but on the global map as well. As per the internationally reputed “Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2015” which ranks 440 cities across the world based on their living conditions, Pune was at number 145 globally and at 2nd position out of the only 7 Indian cities on the list.

Pune consistently ranks one amongst one f the topmost cities in the country on several parameters, literacy rate of 01.42 % of Pune Urban Agglomeration (UA) is highest amongst the top 10 urban agglomerations in the country, its per capita income of Rs 1.72 lakhs is third highest in Maharashtra and it is one of the most industrialized districts in Maharashtra with almost 35 % of total micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) registered here.

Investment in Pune’s infrastructure will give immediate results in terms of investments and economic growth of the region as it is already a preferred destination for both residing and doing business”, said Shantilal Kataria, President CREDAI, Pune Metro.

Smart city

Smart City Mean of (smarter city), a city equipped with basic infrastructure to give a decent quality of life and clean and livable environment to live smarter. Smarter City uses digital technology and information and communication technologies (ICT) to better quality and performance this engage more effectively and actively with its citizen. The Smart City includes government services, transport, traffic management, energy, health care, water and waste.

The smarter city applications are major goal of improving the management and transforming the urban areas. The major technological, economic and environmental changes have generated interest in smart cities.

A city can be defined as ‘smart’ when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory action and engagement.

100 smart cities

M Narendra Modi has launched 100 smart cities project instead Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the Centre will fund Rs500 crore, while state has to add more Rs250 crore and remaining Rs 250 crore will be contributed by the chosen corporation. The committee was set up under chief secretary Swadhin Kshatriya to select 10 cities with a population of over 100,000 in first phase and prepare a detailed project report.

CREDAI Pune Metro writes to PM

Pune city is not just fit for developing as a smart city but it can be developed as the Smart City and Region through Pune Metropolitan Region. Pune has emerged as a top city for living and doing business not just in India but on the global map as well. Investment in Pune’s infrastructure will give an immediate boost to the economic development of Maharashtra and even western India, says the CREDAI Pune Metro Pune. The organization has put this proposal before the Prime Minister for the perusal.

In a letter written by Shantilal Kataria, President of CREDAI Pune Metro Pune, the PM Narendra Modi’s attention has been drawn to the economic, cultural, educational, technological and industrial advantages of the Pune and how it has become the throbbing heart of Maharashtra and western India.

Through the letter, CREDAI Pune Metro has put forth the case for developing Pune region as smart region while keeping Pune at its heart. It has highlighted the aspect, which go in favor of the city. “Pune has the unique advantage of attracting people of all ages – youngest for education and oldest for the ‘Pensioners’ Paradise’. This has created a self-sustaining ecosystem. The literacy rate of Pune urban agglomeration (91.42%) is highest among the top 10 urban agglomeration in the country. It ranks 5th in the all India ranking in terms of literacy. Almost 45% of foreign students who come to study in India choose Pune.

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