At a time when the government is developing citizen friendly smart cities, India Inc has identified five factors - water, power, broadband connectivity, environment and affordable housing-that would be key to the sustainability of these cities.
While discussing what reforms and systemic solutions are needed to make Indian cities smarter at the CII-World Economic Forum here, Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, HCC Infrastructure said that a city must be independent and should have good governance that needs structural change in the Constitution.
Amit Jain, President, Uber India Systems urged the government for level playing field with other taxi aggregator services.
Pointing out these five aspects of better living, Pratik Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Starlight Power said: "The point is to improve lives and quality of lives and smart city is means to an end. Water, electricity, affordable housing, broadband connectivity and environment should be the five missions."
On the issue of affordable housing, Gulabchand said that only rental housing is the real affordable housing while Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Tech Mahindra pointed to financing as a hurdle that comes in the way of achieving this goal.
"We need to move to non-collateralized lending," Mitra said and pitched to make services available and have them privatized in order to them to make them competitive besides ensuring accountability through technology.
The speakers touched on various dimensions to crack the urban code such as enhancing services and infrastructure with robust IT connectivity, rethinking urban mobility and resource management in view of the growing population and ensuring safe and seamless environments for its citizens.