The 4th Smart Cities India 2018 expo, which was held in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from 23rd to 25th May, featured some of the most prominent leaders and experts discussing ways to harness technology to make the next generation of urban spaces resilient, sustainable, and inclusive. This expo was organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the NASSCOM Centre of Excellence – IoT and Exhibitions India Group, the 4th Smart Cities India 2018 expo, which co-locates five major verticals that make up our smart city framework – buildings, solar, smart cities, transport and water. The state-of-the-art exhibition floor enabled participants to explore the latest smart city projects and technologies, products, services, design, and solutions that fit urban lifestyles and needs perfectly.
Commenting on the vision behind the event, Mr. Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group, said, “The 4th Smart Cities India 2018 expo aims to empower cities and collectivize urban innovation. The expo shared insights and priorities that support investment, innovation and growth in order to establish India as a global hub for smart city skills and knowledge and technology. We are extremely proud of organizing an event of such importance for the future, and look forward to facilitating the kind of synergy and collaboration we need to begin planning for a sustainable future for our citizens in earnest.”
Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs said, “Given the huge opportunities present within the challenges, the PM launched three schemes, namely Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India and ‘Housing for All’ to address them. Under the Housing for All scheme, 46 lakh houses have already been sanctioned; 7 lakh houses have been completed; 2-3 lakh houses are being sanctioned every month. Every household in India will get a proper toilet and the entire country will be open-defecation free (ODF) by October 2018.”
The City Leaders’ Conclave, a dynamic and exciting business programme for industry and government, was held during where multiple stakeholders addressed the needs of urban sustainability. Panelists at the discussion emphasized that smart city development need to be truly holistic, encompassing everything from technology to policy to enablement to government action and citizen participation.
During the panel discussion, Shri V. Umashankar, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Gurugram & Additional CEO, GDMA, reinforced the idea that smart city solutions begin with keeping citizens at the heart of design. GDMA raises funds locally and has received no external funding. The idea of making Gurugram smart is planned at city, sub-city and sector level. This process ensures that citywide development takes place rather than that of only specific areas or localities.
The last day of the three-day expo also saw the Smart Cities India Awards, an annual event designed to felicitate, recognize and encourage individuals, policymakers, companies, government bodies and associations working towards developing over 100 smart cities and rejuvenating 500 cities in India.
The Smart Village Conclave served as a platform to bring together village heads, MPs, innovators, influencers, NGOs, etc., working towards developing smart villages in India.
During Smart Village Conclave, Shri Ram Kripal Yadav, Hon’ble Minister of State for Rural Development, Government of India said, “India is a huge nation and has shown accelerated growth in the past years. Unfortunately, the growth has not happened at all levels. Where cities have shown immense leaps of growth, the villages have not been the same story. 70% of India’s population resides in villages. However, rural dwellers in the country have not witnessed a significant increase in earning opportunities and quality of life. We witnessed unsurpassed migration to urban areas. This is leading to cities being overcrowded and burdened. To combat this issue, we need to focus on making villages smarter along with our cities. To this end, the central government has increased the spends from INR 54,000 crores to INR 1,12,000 crores. In the Housing for All scheme, 44.54 lacs houses have been built to date and by end of 2019, one crore houses are expected to be built.”
Shri Yadav added, “To enhance connectivity between cities and villages, road building projects have been given sincere focus and today, around 134 km of roads are being built every day. We aim to accelerate it to 166 km of road construction per day. It is also worth noting that we are using green technology keeping conservation of the environment.”
The 4th Smart Cities India 2018 expo offered a platform for key decision makers, industry experts, and thought leaders from around the world to connect and engage in constructive dialogue to lead sustainable development. The expo also helped attendees access funding, business, and partnership opportunities, with participants from over 40 countries and the biggest brands in the space attending the event, spread over 20,000 square meters in the heart of New Delhi. The expo initiate conversations around new-age technologies such as Internet-of-Things (IoT), renewable energy, artificial intelligence, Big Data, and VR/AR, which are expected to be instrumental in creating the Smart Cities of the future.
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