Smart cities implementation – What needs to be done to realise the vision?

Smart cities implementation – What needs to be done to realise the vision?


Nitin Khedkar

Nitin Khedkar

314 week ago — 3 min read

Summary: The Smart Cities project has been in the works for a while with a view of making a selection of cities from all over India modern in every way. In terms of infrastructure, transport, amenities and living these cities would become world-class but several obstacles need to be overcome to achieve this vision. Nitin Khedkar explains what needs to be done to ensure success in creating smart cities for the future.


In India, the government announced its Smart Cities project with more than 100 cities shortlisted. The question remains, are we smart enough to make these smart cities actually deliver what we plan? 


Let’s look, step by step at the rationale for selecting future smart cities and the challenges that lie ahead:


Choosing smart cities

First and foremost, not all cities have same climatic conditions in India. Some are near the sea and some have extreme temperature and seasons which could be a challenge in sustaining long term implementation of projects.


Planning and designing smart city solutions

Secondly, most cities have serious problems of underground utilities being deployed like telecom infrastructure of various operators, drainage, water and gas pipelines, lighting infrastructure etc.


There is often a gap between what you plan for and the ground reality once you start working on projects. Consultants who do drafting of the RFP’s (request for proposal) may not be aware of these critical challenges and their assumptions may be inaccurate which could lead to delays and huge challenges for implementation partners.


Implementation of smart city solutions

Thirdly, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), selected by winning bidders are struggling hard to integrate Internet of Things (IoT), with the Network Management System which still may not be mature to provide fool-proof solutions.


Possible solutions to minimise the challenges and maximise success:

  • Choosing the right set of smart elements/Internet of Things, based on the climatic and geographical conditions of the city


  • Liasoning, co-ordination & planning with various authorities of the city, state and central government for preparing draft of the RFP by consultants.


  • Bidder should be chosen based on successful POC conducted in that particular city for smaller area as by using cloud concept where bidders can integrate Smart elements/IoT’s installed in that particular city for proof of concept (POC) purpose which get integrated in their cloud data centres.

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