Indian industry hails smart cities initiative

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Hailing the smart cities projects and two others that were launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, industry stakeholders said they will generate a lot of employment opportunities in the country.

“Once these initiatives are actually implemented they will also have an economic multiplier effect on the nation’s economy as a whole, since such huge infrastructure development initiatives will require a massive increase in production and manufacturing output of the country,” said Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India’s Western UP chapter vice president Amit Modi.

“Huge employment opportunities will be created in not just in the infrastructure sector, but also in manufacturing sector, due to all the ancilliary industries connected the ecosystem like steel, cement, wood, rubber metal even fibre optics etc,” he added.

Smart cities will be selected through a bottom-up rather than top-down approach, where the decision would be made by the citizens and municipalities concerned, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday while launching the three missions on Smart Cities, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and Housing for All.

Industry chamber CII president Sumit Mazumder said: “Industry is very optimistic and sincerely hopes that isolated successful urban initiatives across the country would now be scaled up to the national level through these dedicated missions and innovative solutions like providing interest subvention up to 6.5 percent on loans to EWS (economically weaker section) for affordable housing.”

“This is an extremely progressive step which will positively help in proper planning and development of our cities. The citizens’ role has also been prominently highlighted which is commendable,” said FICCI president Jyotsna Suri.

“We welcome the ambitious and audacious goal declared by the government today (Thursday), of setting up 100 smart cities, rejuvenation of 500 cities and Housing for all, in addition to the existing initiatives of HRIDAY (Heritage Cities),” said KPMG in India partner (infrastructure and government services) Jaijit Bhattacharya.

“Critical urban infrastructure is urgently required in order to make the economy efficient. The process of building this urban infrastructure would lead to an explosive growth in the economy as the execution of the vision would entail large scale consumption of cement, metals, plastics, materials and services.

“It would also lead to innovations and creation of spin-off technologies that would surely make India a global player in building future cities,” he added.

“The development of smart cities will ensure that there is a threshold quality of life for all citizens. This will lead to higher productivity in the cities and consequently higher growth. Also welcome is the inclusion of the poor in the planning process. The law to protect consumers buying property will bring about transparency and professionalism in the primary real estate market,” said Anil Kothuri, president and head, retail finance at Edelweiss.

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