Planners Vision for Smart Cities in India

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R. Srinivas, TCPO India

The vision of the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) is “to facilitate creation of economically vibrant, inclusive, efficient and sustainable urban habitats”. Its mission is to “promote cities as engines of economic growth through improvement in the quality of urban life by facilitating creation of quality urban infrastructure, with assured service levels and efficient governance”.

The Town and Country Planning Organisation (TCPO) is the technical wing of the MoUD. It plays an important role in formulating policies, programmes and strategies for urban development in the country. TCPO also monitors specific plan schemes of MoUD in growing community productively and managing the growth.

The Town Planners are responsibly working on the Town’s future. The effective and creative planning of major projects will benefit residents by providing them environmental protection along with economic development.

The planner has a role in evaluating issues in achieving responsible for regulating the subdivision of land through the use of local subdivision regulations, effective decision making using tools such as GIS.

MoUD has announced development programmes for pilgrimage centres and heritage cities. This development program is for 500 cities under ‘Amrit’, basically Urban Infrastructure strengthening program beside 100 cities to be developed as smart cities. It will ensure the India’s first systematic attempt for urban renewal to create financially robust and sustainable local bodies. The Government of India programme will encourage all states in developing 18 critical functions of the urban local bodies under the constitutional amendment.

A smart city demands an understanding of public purposes and public interests to define a better and planned city which supports creation of livelihoods, and enhancement of economic growth. The India’s economic growth also depends on harnessing renewable natural resources. The central, state and local level government officials should work with infrastructure developers in public and private space along with the thought leaders in framing the policy, regulatory incentives, and effective compliance mechanisms to make changes in Indian infrastructure market.

The town planner plays a role in formulating a plan and they should appraise from time to time the progress of the plan. They should proactively make recommendation on policy and measures to balance the utilization of the country’s resources. The priorities define the stages in which the propose of the plan should come out for allocating resources for the completion of project which indicate the factors for economic development, and determine the conditions of the current social and political situation.

The TCPO is responsible for framing its recommendations consultation with the Ministries of the Central and State Government to implement decisions rests with the Central and the State Governments.

The TCPO is suggesting to work on GIS based spatial planning which is one of the important pre requisites for smart city in Indian context and should consider the crucial aspects like preparation of comprehensive city spatial plans using ‘State of Art’ technologies such as GIS. It will envisage efficient allocation of land resources polycentric city plan with mixed land use integration of land use and transportation.