Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.

Articles

Smart Cities

Dt:  10/6/19

Smart Cities

 

Dr T H Chowdary*

 

In Oct 2013 in the  auditorium of the  Nehru Stadium  in Delhi I gave a PPT -supported talk with the  title , “Building a Prosperous, Powerful, Ethical  India  to be a Jagadguru Once Again” to an audience of  over 9000 students drawn from several universities in the  country.  As special speakers  and participants were Sri Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat and Sri N Chandra Babu Naidu, the leader of the  opposition in the   Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Assembly. Among other things,    I said that one of the greatest problems of India is the ever -growing  population at 15 to 19 mln per year, since the  1980s and  that  we have not been able to  create that many jobs at any time in the past. Earlier we had uneducated, unemployed  and we are having increasingly educated  unemployed, perhaps unemployable  persons. These will become  a great problem as they become voters with high expectations.  

 

2.Further,   India’s agriculture would not be able to support  the rural  population as  the  cultivable land  available per person has been decreasing since the  1950s as the population was growing. The rural population as per  1951 census was about 33 cr and now it is over 80 cr.  The educated  rural  people are migrating to cities and  work for the  increased number  of rural  population cannot  be  provided by agriculture.  One of the  ways of creating  work for  tens of millions  of less educated  population wanting to  migrate to urban  areas in search of work, is  to build  200 new cities. 

 

3. No Indian town /city is well planned and infrastructure  available by way of water, sewage disposal and housing and roads  is inadequate even for the existing populations. The  rural  people  migrating to these  cites/towns are living  in slums,  occupying  vacant land wherever it is

 

 

available  whether it is government or private.  That creates a law and order problem as well as  further degrade  the quality of life to the existing towns and cities.  These people will be cultivated by contending political parties for their votes.  Their misery however will  not be eliminated but occasionally mitigated at election times.

 

4. In order to accommodating  the people migrating away from rural areas in search of work and to create work for them and  relief to the existing towns and cities from  their miserable infrastructure, it is good and wise to  build  new cities and  towns in the most planned manner and by use of latest technologies and providing to their  administrations the necessary information and communication network ab initio to their smart management.

 

5. The construction of new towns  will provide jobs for architects , engineers,  financiers and most importantly for the people migrating from rural areas ;   that is,  unskilled , former agricultural labour and those  engaged in allied pursuits .  In this great project of building new 200 smart urban  areas skills  could be  imparted to convert former agriculture  related workers as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, masons, welders, floor-layers, painters.  Both  Sri Narendera Modi and  Chandra Babu Naidu were highly appreciative of this proposition and that is how in the manifesto of BJP there was mention of smart cities .  When the BJP came to power, the smart city idea got  totally distorted. The money meant for this is utilised for improving the existing over populated  under infrastructure cities, For eg:  in Hyderabad  the money was utilised for J N Rural (RUN) UM. That is, in effect the  smart cities instead of being built newly, some facilities are added or improved in the existing cities.  This is wastage of money because most of the existing cities are  not developable into smart cities. The  continued influx of  rural masses into cities will  add to the “slummification” and degradation of the  towns.

 

6. At least in this  2nd term of the BJP,  new ideas must be implemented to solve  old  problems  in a smart way.  The smart city concept should be to build  new cities  which will provide work for a variety of unemployed  people  imparted   specific skills required in the construction of cities,  roads, homes,  offices water supply and distribution and sewage   system and electricity and so on . (694 words )

 

END