Are the urban centres selected by the Union government to be upgraded into “smart cities” actually becoming smarter? How does the government define a smart city under its much-publicised Smart City Mission? This may never be known. An exercise to set clear benchmarks to assess when exactly a city is delivering a high enough quality of life to its inhabitants to be declared a smart city was shut down by the urban development ministry late last year.
The initiative had been started by the Bureau of Indian Standards in 2015. Though its work was in the final stage, bureau was asked to halt its work to set up benchmark standards for smart cities. Instead, the urban development ministry has now devised a “Liveability Index”, which will enable a city to carry the “smart city” label merely because it has been selected by the government for the mission. The index will assess the cities only on relative improvements over time in delivering services to residents and not in absolute terms. The index will merely rank the cities already earmarked as “smart” by the government.
To piece together how and why the government aborted the attempt to define smart cities, Scroll.in reviewed the draft standards the Bureau of Indian Standards had prepared and other documents from the bureau and the urban development ministry. Read More…
Credit By: Scroll
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