CII signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between with Spanish Consortium for taking up the initiatives under the Smart City Mission at the CII International Conference on Smart Mobility for Smart Cities in New Delhi. This was the fifth such MoU that CII has signed on Smart City – earlier ones with German, US, Indian and Japanese Consortiums.
Opening the Conference, Mr. Ravi Parthasarathy, Chairman, CII National Mission on Smart Cities and Chairman IL&FS Ltd. highlighted the fact that whereas urbanization across the world has witnessed concentrated business centres with distant urban suburbs, India is witnessing rapid growth of urban centres which are ever increasing in size. Mr. Parthasarathy called for immediate creation of arterial and inter-city roads, which, in turn would require significant expenditure.
He also added that only through integration of these components with transport sub-systems, along with Mass & Light Transit systems that we can have decongestion in the Indian cities and at the same time make them environment friendly and liveable.
H.E. Gustavo De Aristegui, Ambassador of Spain to India congratulated CII National Mission on Smart Cities in its initiatives and for signing a MoU with Spanish Consortium led by INDRA Systems Ltd. He highlighted the proven Spanish competency in High Speed Railway and Sustainable metro systems across the world. The Ambassador also shared that Spanish firms are market leaders in India in some of the verticals and expressed hope that this MoU would not only stimulate the ongoing Smart City Mission in India but would foster stronger economic relationship across other verticals as well.
Guest of Honour Dr. M Ramachandran, Former Secretary – MoUD, Government of India in his address stressed upon the continuous need to enhance investment in the transport infrastructure. To realize the stated goals in the Smart City Mission, he said, it was necessary to create organized, registered and regulated public transport system, for which data would serve as a fundamental requirement. Transport solutions should be anchored at the Centre with emphasis on time-bound implementation of solutions. Furthermore there is a need for professional and coordinated approach and strengthening capacity building both at states and local level to address city level transport issues, he said.
Prof. Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, in his special address brought out the key gaps in transport infrastructure and service delivery across the country and called for strengthening the planning framework for transport in the proposed Smart Cities. Technology, Mr. Shah said, would have increasing role to play in planning and operational management as we move ahead. Smart City Mission, he emphasized, is directed towards integration of sub systems to define and achieve the desired outcomes. Key for success of the Mission would be to focus and come out with Area Based Solutions based on intelligent planning and prompt decisions. Greater automation under a strong leadership and optimum use of public spaces would also be very important for cities of 21st century.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Professor of Transport Planning – School of Architecture and Planning in his Theme Presentation brought forward the challenges involved in increasing urbanization and motorization across the country which is reflected in higher passenger kilometre. To surmount these challenges, there has been a gradual effort by Government to spurt Mass Public Transport that started with JNNURM, BRT Corridors and setting up Metro Rails in some cities but progress till now has been far from satisfactory. He also reminded the audience of the National Urban Transport Planning that was launched in 2006 to make cities as liveable and engines of economic growth. Going ahead, he emphasized upon the need to provide greater impetus to Land Use Transport Integration and Data Analytics for have efficient mobility in the proposed Smart Cities.
The International Conference coinciding with International Railway Equipment Exhibition (IREE) was well attended by representatives from Industry, Government, Embassies, Think tanks, Consultants, academicians and other relevant stakeholders.