Success has even more detractors than it has fathers. Accolades and brickbats have been the story of the Gujarat International Tech-Finance City or the GIFT City that has attracted eyeballs and envy in equal measures ever since its inception for it being the first-of-its-kind in India. Vision of a state (Gujarat) and business acumen of an infrastructure giant (IL&FS), took on the challenge when there was no one to pick the gauntlet. Sooner than expected, it rose to #6 in Asia and #10 amongst top 92 financial centres in the world. Praised by businesses in India and abroad, it has remained in headlines for the wow factor. Recently, there has been a concerted campaign making sensational claims against the project. Whether there is an element of truth or is it a case of jealousy, vendetta and detractors at work? Dr Gursharan Dhanjal, Editor, INCLUSION, speaks with Ajay Pandey, MD & Group CEO, GIFT City to find out:
Based on the learnings of implementation of urban development schemes in the country in the past and particularly, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), a paradigm shift has been brought in our efforts to recast the country's urban landscape. The essential features of this new approach being: bottom-up planning, based on citizen participation in prioritisation of projects and formulation of plans, complete autonomy for states and urban local bodies in appraising and approving projects, selection of cities and towns for inclusion in new urban sector schemes and allocation and release of funds based on an objective criteria, convergence of different schemes to enable integrated planning and better utilisation of resources of central and state governments and unprecedented resource empowerment of states and urban local bodies.
In 1947, when we gained Independence, the biggest challenge in front of us was the security of the nation. It was a huge and a difficult task. And many believed that India would not be able to keep its political integrity intact.
The Ministry of urban development (MoUD) has published a Concept Note on Smart Cities through a very well defined and articulated framework designating 4 pillars as the foundation of this concept. The vision gets clearly defined through this simplistic yet powerful representation on the outcome that smart cities should aim to achieve as an outcome of this critical Initiative