India’s Smart Cities, Green Buildings Present Opportunities for Cleantech Firms

Several announcements made regarding the building of India’s smart cities and green buildings earned big headlines, signaling major opportunities in that country for globally minded clean technology firms.

India’s Cabinet last week allocated about Rs 1 lakh crore ($15.6B) over a five-year period for developing 100 smart cities and rejuvenating another 500, The Economic Times noted. The effort is viewed as having trail-blazing potential, so long as institutional structures are sound enough to accommodate the building of necessary physical, social and economic infrastructure.

Around last June, when PM Modi’s government came to power, he unveiled a plan to establish 100 smart cities across the country, the Times of India reported. Cities have been vying for a slot on the ministry of urban development’s list ever since. Efforts like these are viewed as helping to promote the adoption of smart solutions for more efficient use of available assets, resources and infrastructure.

ZTEsoft, a subsidiary of Chinese multinational telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE, offered to invest Rs 500 crore ($78M) in the Indian government’s smart cities project, the goal of which is to build 100 projects for Rs 48,000 crore over the next five years, the Times of India said in another report.

Mamata Banerjeetoday, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, India’s fourth-most populous state, said that her government plans to develop seven smart cities in the east Indian state, where there is adequate land for the project, The Economic Times reported. The state’s Urban Development Department is slated to develop the smart cities, though the minister didn’t elaborate on how the funds will be allocated for the projects.

Meanwhile, India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told The Business Standard that he is seeking “deeper engagement” from the Asian Development Bank for the erection of smart cities, in addition to industrial corridors and railways. The initiatives are part of two flagship projects known as “Make In India” and “Skill India.”


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