Science Target Conference Systems, Ajman 4th International Environment Conference 2016

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Smart Cities – Does India need them in near future?
Kamala Kanta Satpathy

Last modified: 2015-12-14


India, with a population of 1.2 billion is  expected to overtake china’s in a couple of years, has many down to earth issues to solve rather than thinking of smart cities, bullet trains etc. The present annual average electricity consumption is around 700 KWh which is one third of world average, and interestingly some region having copious natural resources, have abysmally low electricity consumption of about 150 KWh. The pitiable condition is, even about 280 million people do not have access to electricity.  The plan to raise wind and solar energy to 120 and 100 GW(e) respectively in the coming 5 years needs gigantic effort and massive finance. To enhance thermal power production by 200-300 % from the present level, needs, not only substantial increase in indigenous coal production but also needs coal import which will eat away the foreign exchange reserve, badly required for the ever increasing oil import bill. About 60% of the total population defecates in the open, they not only expose themselves to diseases but also contaminant the surface and ground water leading 66% of patients suffering from water contaminated diseases. Although, India gets about 4000 billion cubic meter of rainfall annually, 50% of the population does not have access, not only to safe drinking water but also to regular water supply. The paper presents the ground realities in India and the urgent requirements for improving basic needs to create smart villages rather than smart cities.