Industry calls for full-time chief for Smart Cities

Industry calls for full-time chief for Smart Cities

The industry has called for a full-time head for the Smart Cities initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- replicating Varghese Kurian's model for the white revolutions of the 1960s.

“When approached by the then chairman of the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Limited, Tribhuvandas Patel, Dr Verghese Kurien insisted that he should be heading the milk federation for life and not be transferred around the state. Dr Kurien wished to bear the rewards or brickbats based on the performance of the milk federation that he headed," said Debasish Roy, director general and CEO of SmartCityNext, at a recent national executive board meeting. "Similarly, our Smart Cities need a lifetime CEO at their helm and not a civil servant who has to be transferred every three or fewer years so that he can never really take charge effectively." 

SmartCityNext is a chamber of commerce devoted to the rural-urban connect in India and focus on a sustainable model for socio-economic development.

The meeting was attended by top executives from Zerone Microsystems, Cisco India, Hewlett Packard and Dell.

Smart Cities Mission, sometimes referred to as Smart City Mission, is an urban renewal and retrofitting programme by the Government of India with a mission to develop 100 cities across the country, making them citizen friendly and sustainable.

No policy document

Roy is of the opinion that the creation of SmartCitiesNext entails a lot of inter-ministerial work and consensus with other ministries such as agriculture, transportation, horticulture, retail and food processing. "Currently, there is no policy document to ensure the implementation of this process. SmartCitiesNext is interacting with Niti Ayog to channelise policy efforts towards this end and ensure speedy implementation," he said.