A SmartCity is characterized by an urban region having modern technological infrastructure, access to smart energy, smart mobility, smart public utility services and ultra-fast communication network. Driving by the vision on Hon’ble Prime Minister, GOI has developed an ambitious blueprint for setting up 100 Smart cities providing ample job opportunities, infrastructure that provide first-rate civic amenities, speedy and hassle-free transport system, uninterrupted and clean power, water supply and good quality of life.
So, why do we need Smart Cities? According to demographers, India will become the most-populous country in the world by 2030 and unlike previous phases of demographic changes, the latest one is witnessing a fast shift towards urban areas, particularly big cities.
As per government estimates, every minute 25-30 people are migrating to major Indian cities from rural areas in search of better livelihood and better lifestyles. If this pace of migration continues, Indian cities would be home to nearly 70% of population amounting to 85crore by 2050. As cities are generally considered the engines of economic growth, such a huge population in cities would be the biggest market in the world and source of 80% economic growth of the country. But such a massive population would also require requisite supporting infrastructure.
Elaborating about the Smart City Mission, Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked, "Cities in the past were built on riverbanks. They are now built along highways. But in the future, they will be built based on the availability of optical fiber networks and next-generation infrastructure".
To develop 100 such smart cities for the future, the Smart City Mission requires an investment of about USD 1.2 trillion in the next 20 years, which be funded majorly by Central & State Governments & PSUs.
ONGC, being the mostValuablePSU, is ready to spearhead this mission and drive growth.
ONGC has persistently been at the forefront of including state-of-the-art technologies around its work-centers as well as residential colonies. Under a recent initiative, ONGC is converting its residential colonies into Smart colonies, thus providing thrust to SmartCityMission. The Maharatna PSU already touches life of every India, as one out of every gas cylinder is fuel by ONGC. From fueling Indian Kitchens to power the aviation industry through aviation turbine fuel (ATF), ONGC powers India’s growth engine.
As India strives to leave a mark on a world that is becoming increasingly urban, its incumbent upon PSUs like ONGC to come together in implementing a comprehensive and well chalked out strategy for our cities. With urbanization gaining prominence in the global policy discourse, it is important, now to focus on local governance. Paying further attention to the aspects of resilience and local governance can ensure that Indian cities become competitive global cities.