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India and USA Relationship on Smart Cities, Comment

The city of Chandigarh – declared first smart city in India is acknowledged intercontinentally for its architecture, planning, urban design, capital and sustainability. The master plan of the city was set by Corbusier. City is divided into interconnected sectors and divisions. It helps to maintain law and discipline without any chaos, disorder and managerial problem. Also crowned as GREEN CITY.

Smart cities are this way literally smart, availing good infrastructure such as 24x7 water, sanitation, reliable utility services, health care and fascinating investments. It encompasses a vision of urban space explicitly ecologically friendly, more job opportunities and technologically assimilated.With grip of information technology, task is to improve efficiency making place liveable and workable, to enhance human connectivity via internet and free identification system to hook lawbreakers. Furthermore monitoring traffic behaviour, improving energy endowment and by electronic means unifying health care information. It can also be termed as 'cyber Ville, 'digital city', 'flexi city', 'information city', 'intelligent city', 'knowledge-based city, 'MESH city', 'Ubiquitous city', 'wired city', 'interconnected cities' and 'business cluster'.. According to Smart Cities India 2015 Brochure, 8 foremost fields needs to be headed as smart which are-health, education, transportation, environment, governance ,IT & communications, buildings and energy.

India's urban population will count 590 million by 2030. By increasing population, people are crowding upon cities from villages. At least 60 cities will have million plus population, at present the figure outlooks at 42.So it needs a smart setup to curb this issue. Talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama on 30 of September 2014 in Washington gave a green signal to this. A partnership was pronounced between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Ministry of Urban Development, India to advance the Smart Cities Initiative. GoI has planned to phase out National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) and plans to launch "100 Smart Cities" in India. In the Union Budget 2014-15 GOI has allocated US$ 1.5 billion (INR 76 billion) for development of smart cities.

"My friend @MikeBloomberg & I had a great meeting! We will work together to advance the Smart Cities Initiative."-PM tweeted after meeting.( Mr Michael Bloomberg is the former Mayor of New York City). The US will provide helping hand to India in developing smart cities. A release issued by the urban development ministry declared that the US delegation led by the secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker approved to the suggestion of minister M Venkaiah Naidu for scheduling of the task forces. With his presence on the occasion, Naidu witnessed that India-US cooperation is acquiring a new dimension with the signing of the settlements between United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh .Inaugurating with Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam, the milestone will be set of smart cities .Each team will have three senates each from central and respective state governments and the USTDA. Each city task force will deliberate city detailed features, project necessities and appropriate revenue prototypes for enabling flow of investments etc., before project's start-up. Working of respective state governments with US government agencies like Department of Commerce and US Export-Import Banks, it will encourage greater US-India infrastructure development cooperation, providing resources in support, cooperation and facilitation of expansion of smart cities.In addition to this, top American business houses have extended their hand to patronage the smart city projects like Cisco, IBM, 3M, EMC, GE, Honeywell, KPMG, Otis, Timken and Louis Berger. An inter-ministerial committee for US investments in India, DIPP is fast-tracking prospective US investments in India and quickening them up by looking into some of the trepidations on tax, land acquisition and rules and regulations.USTDA will raise funds for feasible studies and pilots, study tours, workshops and other projects to be conjointly determined. It will invite smart solutions for smart cities. Furthermore joined coordinated efforts with civil society and local authorities to provide clean water and sewage facilities in 500 cities in the country. The pact signed proclaims cities to be economically driven, should have a chief innovation officer to guide, along with paragon of transparency and citizen engagement. Along with India need to develop 110 million housing units, more than 2,771 green buildings, reduce maintenance cost by 10 to 30 % and save US $42 billion every year with efficient use of lighting and heating.

These most significantly improved technical practices are important for India which is such a diverse country for unifying it. The 4th largest economy, India is raising hope of economy for the whole realm. So we can say it's all about to make "Sone ki Chidiya" with modern wings and fully substantial to fly high and achieve greater stature in all arenas.

Kumari Priya Rani