New-age infrastructure projects are redefining India
The rising aspirations and needs of citizens are driving India towards new-age infrastructure where “SMART” is the byword. Almost every new infra project, be it public or private, coming up in the country is bringing in elements such as internet, internet of things, automation and technology to make it a part of evolving Smart India. Smart infrastructure is a broad concept with several components. Following are the infrastructure developments which are redefining India as Smart India:
Indian Railways tried to take a leap into the smart category with the introduction of Wi-Fi at its railway stations in January 2016. The then railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, decided that in the era of internet, provision of such a facility at railway stations will be a big draw for the public and also add to revenue. The idea was greatly appreciated by the people and the initial target of having Wi-Fi at 400 stations was raised to 7,000 by the present railway minister, Piyush Goyal.
In June 2015, the urban development ministry started a programme called the Smart Cities Mission, with a focus on using innovative digital technologies to resolve the increasing challenges in the urban areas of the country. The aim was to use smart solutions to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure with a decent quality of life. At present around 100 cities are within the ambit of this plan.
Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari says smart highways are his dream. He defines a smart highway as a green highway, with plantation all around the road and vertical gardens in cases of space constraints. The highways would have the latest systems installed so that commuters would get SMS alerts about traffic, be able to pay toll based on the distance travelled on highways, and not encounter traffic lights. The power needs on national highways would be met through solar energy. The toll system would also be powered by solar energy.