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August 8, 2014

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The State of Physical Access Control in EMEA Businesses – 2020 Report

India Plans to Build 100 ‘Smart Cities’

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When: 11-13 December 2014
Where: Pragati Maidan, new Delhi

India is building 100 ‘smart cities’ in an ambitious plan to ease pressure on India’s overcrowded urban environment.

In his maiden speech as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that INR73.6bn (£710m) would be spent “developing 100 satellite towns” surrounding large cities.

In a June speech Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Cities in the past were built on riverbanks. They are now built along highways.

“But in the future, they will be built based on availability of optical fibre networks and next-generation infrastructure.”

British Chancellor George Osborne has extended a £1bn credit line to help UK companies exploit the opportunity.

Earlier this year, the Singaporean foreign minister also promised to lend a hand in replicating their Tianjin Knowledge City model – a Sino-Singapore collaboration – in India.

India smart city

Artist’s impression of planned ‘smart city’ Dholera, southern Gujarat, India

“[The Indian] PM talked about ports and port management, skill development, building of smart cities, rejuvenation of India’s rivers and water solutions. In terms of technology and experience in water solutions, we will share whatever we have,” K Shanmugam said.

Not everyone agrees on a single definition of a ‘smart city’ – also known in security circles as Safe Cities – but it generally involves the harnessing of information communication technology to solve or alleviate social problems.

According to the latest study of MarketsandMarkets, ”the booming of Indian smart city projects is due to growing urban population, which is expected to reach around 590 million, creating pressure in the existing urban infrastructure.

“Such smart city projects will link all citizens, cities, government and many more with each other on a real-time basis. It will also focus on reducing carbon emission and [creating a] smooth flow of traffic in the urban cities.”

SmartCity Kochi will be home to one of India’s largest business parks and is the second city in the smart-city global network.  A joint venture between the Government of Kerala and Tecom (a subsidiary of Dubai Holding), it will be India’s largest knowledge-based township, creating 90,000 direct jobs.

Cutting edge

International Financial Tech City (GIFT), meanwhile, is the first greenfield investment project. Begun in 2011 it is expected to be completed by 2021. Sensors and cutting-edge PSIM technology will monitor and manage everything in the environment from traffic to water assets.

Another pilot project initiated by European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) in association with the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry will focus on reducing carbon footprint in the industrial town of Haldia.

And IBM has announced a partnership with Lodha Group to build smart city infrastructure within the orbit of Palava, in an area spanning more than 4000 acres, located at the junction of Navi Mumbai and Dombivali.

“We can already anticipate the problems that these cities face and attack them at the source,” Rahul Sharma, an executive at IBM, told CNN. “India has a fantastic opportunity where we can work outside of the shackles of existing technology.”

Not to be outdone Cisco Systems is tasked with transforming Bangalore – already an IT-savvy metropolis – into a truly smart city with smart parking, smart CCTV surveillance, smart street lighting and smart water management. Also involving the Electronics City Industries Association (ELCIA), the project’s first phase will roll out in Electronics City – an IT hub in Anekal taluk – and will serve as a template for the rest of Bangalore as well as other cities in India, across the region and other emerging markets.

Other major international players in the ambitious project include Alcatel-Lucent, Accenture, ABB, Cubic, Honeywell, Intel, Siemens and Oracle.

Responding to the announcement Sudhindra Holla, country manager, Axis Communications India, said:” The government has various initiatives to build smart cities and the budget must be concurrent with the plans.

“With the growth in infrastructure, security and surveillance will move to the next juncture of critical importance and in the smart cities. Video surveillance will be used beyond monitoring, to gather intelligent data. The budget, therefore, should set aside substantial investment, for video surveillance solutions.”

New cities are being built across Asia, including in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and China, which earmarked an $8 billion investment fund for smart city technology this year.

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