Smart Cities and Infrastructure Summit 2017
AMCHAM’s Smart Cities and Infrastructure Summit 2017 brought together teams of government officials from Gujarat Transmission Company, Gujarat Electrical Grid Company, Energy Efficiency Services and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to meet with members to discuss needs for technology that the government has at various levels. The Summit took place in Gurgaon on 4th December 2017. AMCHAM member companies spoke about how they could fulfill the government’s vision on smart cities and also brought forth issues that companies face during the bidding process and implementation.
Companies such as HP Enterprise, Motorola Solutions, Cisco, 3M Corporation, Honeywell and SmartE explained about their cutting-edge technology that they have offered to the government at various levels of project implementation. In the inaugural session, Mr. Harish Krishnan, Managing Director, Public Affairs & Strategic Engagements, Cisco Systems, India & SAARC and Mr. Ashwini K. Channan, Director Government Relations, Honeywell International (India) made remarks.
The chief guest, Dr. Sameer Sharma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, outlined his ministry’s mission on smart cities. He spoke at length about how cities had been planned in fits and starts owing to many waves of urbanization under many administrations. For instance, the British had introduced the Civil Lines, the Cantonment Lines and the regular bazaars. The Mughals and the Turks had introduced their own urbanization to Delhi. Dr. Sharma said that the current citizen-centric plan wished to start afresh and upgrade all 90 designated cities.
Ms. Aileen Crowe Nandi, Deputy Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy, expressed interest in connecting with urban mobility solution-based organizations such as DMRC in taking forward the U.S. Embassy’s mandate to support the Government of India’s smart cities mission. She spoke of future plans in the three states with whom the U.S. Embassy had been interacting so far, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. She said the United States was committed to the success of urbanization models currently being pushed in India.
Ms. Mehnaz Ansari, Representative, India, South and Southeast Asia, USTDA, spoke about the reverse trade missions that USTDA had conducted to bring government officials from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to learn more about the smart city initiatives made in the U.S. She thanked AMCHAM for engaging with the central and state governments and for taking forward the USTDA vision of participation in India’s smart cities mission.
Co-Chairman of the AMCHAM Infrastructure and Smart Cities Committee, Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya, outlined the path that AMCHAM wished to follow in helping the government to fulfill the smart cities mission. He stressed on the need for including the development of roads, railway tracks, metros and airports so that smart cities do not end up creating bottle necks in either inter-city or intra-city movements. The other Co-Chairman, Mr. Samit Ray, stressed on the need to connect with the chief minister’s offices in states for greater interaction. He cited the quote “India under builds and China over builds” to explain the problems with Indian planning for smart cities.