Q: Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart villages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural urban integration.
- Currently, 31% of India’s population lives in cities; these cities also generate 63% of the nation’s economic activity. These numbers are rapidly increasing, with almost half of India’s population projected to live in its cities by 2030.
- Smart Cities focus on the most pressing needs and on the greatest opportunities to improve quality of life for residents today and in the future.
- Smart cities are generally focus on subjects like Energy, Transport, Public Health, Education, Affordable Housing or Waste Management with the help of modern technology.
- But for the success of smart city mission, rural-urban migration has to be reduced. Migration is the major hurdle in development of smart cities because:
- Migration leads to development of slums which reduces the availability of basic amenities to the people.
- The large scale migration lead to increase in labor supply and ultimately reduce wage rate which cause people to live with pitiable housing and education facilities.
- Large epidemics cause by diseases like dengue, malaria etc are indirect result of population explosion in big cities which is mainly caused by migration.
- It also leads to degradation of environment.
- Hence if sufficient basic amenities and facilities shall not be provided in peri-urban and village areas then effective resource system of smart cities might not be able to provide quality of life to people which is the main aim of Smart city mission.
- So, there is need to build smart villages with better education, health and employment opportunities to make smart cities sustainable.
- Dozens of services including construction, farming, electricity, health care, water, retail, manufacturing and logistics are needed in building a smart village.
- Computing, communication and information technologies play a major role in design, delivery and monitoring of the services. All the techniques and technologies needed to build a smart village are available now and some of them are being used in villages in India but these are disparate, fragmented and piecemeal efforts.
- The need of the hour is strategy, integrated planning, and above all monitoring and execution of the activities using appropriate governance models.