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'Smart Cities Will Look At Active Smart Solutions Due To Demonetisation'

BW Businessworld Smart Cities Conclave and Awards 2016 looks at sustainable transformation of urban areas, encompassing long-term planning and business partnerships

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It is a general perception that a lot of talk happens on the development of smart cities, but no concrete action takes place. Pitching a positive outlook, Nikhil Sahani, group president government banking and strategic government advisory, Yes Bank, gave an assurance on the building of enthusiasm all across the country and hard-hitting steps being undertaken by the government and private sector.

BW Businessworld Smart Cities Conclave and Awards 2016, in an effort to act as a catalyst and encourage the building of the very ambitious dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Smart Cities Mission, started off with a commitment at the Taj Palace in New Delhi.

Hosting the most definitive and influential gathering of the Smart Cities Ecosystem to discuss the way forward and recognise the best work from the cities, states and industry, Anurag Batra, Chairman, BW Businessworld, inaugurated the awards and advocated smart, sustainable city transformations, encompassing long-term planning, partnership and engagement.

“We are all building ‘Sampatis’, which is selfish wealth and we need to work on building ‘Sampada’”, shared wealth, says Batra. Building of smart cities will take off pressure from urban centres which may take 5-10 years and new smart cities, as they are being built from the scratch, will be sustainable in the real sense of that, especially in the way we use energy, mobility etc.

“We sincerely hope that today’s conference comes up with solutions and ideas that can be taken beyond this room and implemented”, says Batra.

With rapid urbanisation taking place in India we need to get our infrastructure at place, first and foremost for the things to move in the right direction, said Sahani, keeping some hard hitting facts and numbers on the table in the wake of rapid urbanisation taking place in the country.

In terms of the project, the funding required is around $19.3 billion and the grant that will be provided by the centre and state is about 46% of it. Therefore, all these cities put together need to raise about $10 billion through the set of initiatives.

“The ministry of urban development is identifying transaction advisors to support urban local bodies in hitting the market with the municipal bonds and as one of the key advisors, I can assure you a lot of action is underway and there is an understanding that they will have to get themselves rated in context of financial discipline”, says Sahani.

BW Businessworld Smart Cities Conclave & Awards is a platform that endeavours to engage smart cities thought leaders and innovators to bring forth smart and sustainable ideas that can link our progressive cities to solutions that are best suited for them.