The 4th Smart Cities India 2018 expo opened its doors today with over 300 exhibitors from India and abroad showcasing innovative products and solutions for smart cities. The three day expo at Pragati Maidan was inaugurated by CR Chaudhary Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
Reiterating the Government’s commitment to meet the Housing for All by 2022 Mission targets, Chaudhary said, “Development of any nation depends on basic infrastructure. A smart city provides 24/7 power, clean energy, potable water, efficient transportation, education, healthcare and housing to all its residents. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of having a roof over every Indian’s head by 2022 is to provide affordable housing to all.” He further spoke about a new India where housing, transportation and connectivity are the key. “The pace of building highways has accelerated to 25 km a day under the Government’s roadways push.” On the role of starts ups in smart cities, he said, “Around 10,000 start ups have been registered across the country and they have a major role to play in building smart cities with their innovative technology, products and solutions.”Speaking about the Government’s initiatives to improve ease of doing business, the minister pointed out, “For foreign direct investment, the Government has brought sweeping changes by simplifying rules and regulations. As a result, now custom clearances happen round the clock.”
As many as 99 cities have been selected for development as smart cities under the Smart Cities Mission,
which is aimed at urban transformation and comprises of key projects such as digitally integrated smart city centres, street re-design, installation of solar rooftop on buildings, etc. Reaffirming that buildings, solar, transport and water make smart cities, Chaubey exhorted people to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean and
hygienic India. “First step towards a healthy and developed India is to create a clean India. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has become a mass movement, and people are joining this Jan Andolan.” The sanitation champion, who built 33,000 toilets in three years in his home state, Bihar, also stressed on the importance of housing for all, the impact of the various health schemes launched by the Government and how significant it was for India to collaborate with other nations to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As per 2011 census, 31 percent population lives in urban areas, and by 2030, 50 percent of India’s population would reside in urban areas. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs reiterated that with more people migrating to cities in coming decades, urbanisation presents many challenges. “Given the huge opportunities present in the challenges, the PM launched three schemes viz., Swachh Bharat, 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; and 2-3 lakh houses are being sanctioned every month. He further added, “That every household in India will get a proper toilet and the entire country will be open-defecation free (ODF) by October 2018.”
The inaugural ceremony also had H.E. Daniel Carmon, Ambassador of Israel to India, deliver a Special Address where he spoke about collaboration between nations to build sustainable cities of the future. “Each country has a different set of urban challenges, and every country has its own set of tools to address these challenges. No one country has all the solutions. So we need to integrate the solutions from different nations for building a sustainable future.” He encouraged all to take advantage of the networking opportunities present at the Smart Cities India expo and reach out to the world. Organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the NASSCOM Centre of Excellence – IoT and Exhibitions India Group, the 4th Smart Cities India 2018 expo co-located five major verticals that make up our smart city framework – Buildings, Solar, Smart Cities, Transport and Water.
LC Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director, ITPO, said, “The Government and citizens need to put their efforts together to make our cities smart and sustainable.” Speaking about the exhibition industry in India, he said that the recently set up New Delhi Convention and Exhibition Bureau centres that will attract international events. “Three state-of-the-art exhibition halls in Pragati Maidan will be ready by February 2019,” he added. Smart Cities India expo has been at the forefront of bringing global partnership opportunities to public and private sectors in India over the last four years. Featuring multi-track thought provoking conferences and community-driven workshops, this year’s event is no different.
“While collaboration is the key to smart sustainable cities of the future, the potential for new age technologies to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges is vast,” said Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group, adding that the expo explored business opportunities within smart cities while facilitating long term partnerships.