Pune to have a smart city solutions centre

Wed, 2016-04-27 10:27 -- SCC India Staff

The city of Bangalore may be the startup capital of India, but if things go the right way, Pune would soon become the hub for starups eyeing the smart city opportunity.

The government of India and government of Maharashtra along with the Future City Catapult, a network established by the Government of UK, are planning to come up with a national centre for excellence for urban innovation in Pune. The centre will cater to all the issues of upcoming smart cities in India.

"In order to create an eco-system to bring in collaboration to the smart city movement we have created a forum where everyone can plug and play. People in the academia, start-ups, and government can work together on a virtual platform as well as in person," said Kunal Kumar, Pune municipal commissioner at the sidelines of Pune TiECon 2016. The conceptualisation of the hub will be over in the next two to three months.

He believes that this will give opportunity to both the start-ups and industries to understand the issues that the cities are facing and on the other hand, also allow cities (government) to know what innovation is happening at the ground level. "This could also act as an Accelerator where ideas can be taken to market. This is a paradigm shift in the thinking that we are promoting from traditional solutions being brought to out-of-the-box thinking," he added.

Going ahead, Kumar, also added that this centre could also lead to a setting up of an academy, where entrepreneurs, engineers and government officers can be trained on how smart city movement is taking shape and what they can add to.

Pune, the second on the list of the top-20 smart cities that the Government of India announced earlier this year, is also among the first to receive the initial amount of Rs 194 crore from the Union Government for kick starting the project.

Kumar said that the roll out of plans and area development solutions will happen soon. "The SPV has been created and by end of June we see the first project implementation to begin. It's a five year plan, but the initial focus will be to get those plans implemented that impact the citizens most," he added.

The smart city project will have solutions that are area specific as well as plans for pan city. "The areas wise plans will impact areas like Aund, Baner, and Balewadi, which we expect in the next five years will come up as world class neighbourhood, and issues like water and transportation will be pan city," he added.

The SPV, Pune smart city development corporation (PSCDC), was created on March 23, and is a 50:50 partnership between the State government and Pune Municipal Corporation, and will have 15 board members. Six will be from municipal corporation, four from the State government, one will represent the Central government. Two independent directors will be elected at the Central and State government levels. Kumar, will be the managing director and chief of SPV, while the PMC CEO will be the executive director of PSCDC.

Source: Business Standerd