Governance and Institutional Framework for Smart Cities in India

Governance and Institutional Framework for Smart Cities in India

Arindam Biswas (IIT Roorkee, India) and Kranti Kumar Maurya (IIT Roorkee, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4165-3.ch004
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Rapidly increasing urbanization in India has brought much needed focus on the urban development. City building in India is done mostly by local governments and very less by state government and union government. All three tiers of governance are involved in realizing smart city. Smart city will be built with a combined effort from various actors from three tiers of public governing institutions and several private enterprises. Smart cities will require superior planning, design, and coordination among these actors. Otherwise, it will be impossible to achieve faster, efficient, and superior quality city building and management. Historically, urban policy and its implementation in India has been tardy, thereby limiting the sustainable and planned growth of cities. The chapter will try to find the connection between governance and institutional framework for smart city building in India by taking a case of Varanasi city. Varanasi is a city in Uttar Pradesh state of India. It is one of the hundred proposed smart cities. Varanasi is a proposed city under AMRUT and HRIDAY schemes also.
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By 2050, world urban population will rise to 6 billion from 3.6 billion in 2011. As per census 2011, India’s urban population stands at 31% that increased from mere 6.2% in 1951. UNFPA (2007) predicts India’s urban population at 40.7% (590 million) by 2030 (UNFPA). This growth in urban population will be in combination to natural growth and migration. It implies more transition of people from rural to urban settings. If the status quo remained, the rapid urbanization may result into more slums and unplanned urbanizing. The institutional control and organization set up is important to establish an order in this development process.

Urban areas are considered the centers of productivety and growth. In 1950-51, share of urban sector in the Indian GDP was 29 percent, which have risen to 75 percent at present. Urbanization is required and happening rapidly to support the economy; but it also requires equal development in the sociol sector. Ever increasing unemployment rate and poverty demonstrates growth of slums in urban areas. With this, urban fringes’ development has now become a continuous character of urban areas. Purpose of governance and institutions are to plan and guide these developments.

Now, challenge for the governance is to overcome the infrastructural deficiencies through taking advantage from the economic momentum created by the urbanisation process in the urban area.

The chapter starts with a short introdution to Indian approach of governance, followed by various definitions of governance, institurions, framework, smart cities. Further the chapter throw light on the existing Indian strutures of governance, administration and institutions by taking a case of Varanasi city in the state of UttarPradesh of India. The chapter discusses further about present smart city development process in India.

India is a developing country and fighting with the rapid urbanisation issues. Now, it is rapidly tranforming its governance system to manage the haphazard urbanization. This chapter is presenting the transformation of governance system and approach to smart cities, which is one of the focus areas of this book.

At present, smart city is envisaged as the mainstay of India’s urban policy. India is already determined 100 cities to be developed as smart city. Once the planning and design for smart city will be in place, the focus will be more on to implement all strategies to make cities smarter. It is evident that smart city can only be realized if India can transform the ideas smartly and quickly on ground. Smart city will be built with a combined effort from various actors from the three tiers of public governing institutions and several private enterprises. But all these efforts require superior planning, design and coordination among all these actors. Otherwise it is impossible to achieve faster, efficient, and superior quality in city building and management.

India had a national level planning agency called as ‘Planning Commission’ for development programs and allocation of funds. Planning Commission used to formulate five year plans at national level for the development of independent India since 1950. Planning commission dissolved in 2015 and NITI (The National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, a policy think tank has been established for further development of India. NITI Aayog has released its first draft 3-year action agenda for 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 in April 2017 and working on a second document containing the Fifteen Year Vision and Seven Year Strategy.

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