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Smart City project attracts tech giants
27-12-2014

Expected to attract investments upward of Rs 1000 billion over the next three-four years


India's Smart City project, which is expected to attract investments upward of Rs 1000 billion over the next three-four years, has attracted tech giants from India as well as MNCs. The Central Government had approved a blueprint for the project in August last.

According to media reports, Cisco has earmarked $1.7 billion for investment this year in India. Google, Microsoft, HP, IBM,?TCS?and Wipro are also working on their offerings.?According to a Business Standard survey of experts, the information and communication technology (ICT) requirement in projects such as these would be anywhere between 5-6% of total project cost

According to a BS report, Nasscom has already conducted two consultation workshops with the ministry of urban development for IT services industry members on the 100 smart cities initiative.?

Some of the areas that attract Cisco to the smart cities concept are education, health care and energy. Cisco has been working on several projects of smart cities across the globe. In India, some of the projects that it is currently working on are the 1,500-km Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. In Haryana, it has worked on a project of connecting local police stations, which has allowed them to share databases on criminals much easier. Some of its other tie-ups include working with Bengaluru, Pimpri-Chichwad in Pune and Kochi cities.?

Similarly,?IBM?too has invested in laying the foundation for a smart city in India. One of the showcase projects that IBM is working on is Palava City in Mumbai, developed by the Lodha Group. The city spanning over 4,000 acres will incorporate IBM's 'smarter cities' technology, using advanced, data-driven systems to integrate information from all city operations into a single system to improve efficiency and deliver an enhanced quality of life for its residents.? "In India, we have been active with the Smart City concept. But the uptake has been slow, especially over the last two to three years. I think there is a need for a change in the mindset. However, I do see a big interest at the government level. Everybody is realising that this is a concept that is essential for India," said Rahul Sharma, partner/executive director, IBM Global Business Services, India/South Asia.

Sistema JSFC, which has been implementing smart city concepts in Russia and other countries, too is considering opportunities in India. "The smart city value depends on the city infrastructure development. For example, the Moscow smart city project's budget was around $6.5 billion (the population is approximately 12 million people according to the official data as of 2013). The project budget for other Russian cities (such as Rostov, Ufa, Novosibirsk, Kazan with a population over one million) fluctuates from $130 to $650 million," said a spokesperson from the company.

From Business Standard


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