GIFT City: India’s First International Smart City Coming Up In Gujarat
When BJP released it’s election manifesto, they had promised to build 100 smart cities in India. Little did we know that the process has already started and Modi had declared something which he knows that he will complete. In terms of Indian political structure, this is certainly something unheard of.
Around 18 kms away from Ahmedabad airport, Gujarat is building India’s first International Financial Tech City: “Gujarat International Financial Tec (GIFT) City”, which is also India’s first smart city to be created from scratch. Approximately Rs 70,000 crore will be spent on creating this 886 acres dream city, the features of which seems to be picked up from a science fiction movie!
What Will Happen At GIFT?
Imagine this: The buildings created inside GIFT city won’t be air-conditioned in the traditional way but will be using ‘district cooling technology’, which is considered a far more energy efficient compared to any other form of cooling. They will circulate cool water among the walls inside a building, thereby making them naturally cool.
Another example: Solid waste from households would be sucked out directly from homes at 90 km/hr speed via connected pipelines which leads directly to the waste processing plant. No other city in India can actually boast of such advanced level of waste disposition system.
The construction of this futuristic smart city had already begun in 2011, which is expected to be completed after a decade. Once it is fully functional, there would be a command center set up which will use the Information and Communication Infrastructure (ICT) to manage each and every aspect the city, right from traffic to water movement.
Underneath this smart city, there would be huge maze of tunnels spanning 12 kms which will contain everything from power cables to water pipelines.
5 lakh direct jobs and approximately same number of indirect jobs would be created once the project is over. As of now, couple of towers have been erected; Syndicate Bank, SBI, Bank of India and some other banks have already signed up to open their branches in this city. And unprecedented number of enquires are coming up daily.
Planners behind GIFT are estimating that by the end of 2015, 30,000 – 40,000 people would be residing in this city; which will swell to 60,000 – 80,000 by the end of 2024.
How Big Is GIFT?
At 900 acres, GIFT is almost one tenth the size of Dubai International Airport which is 8500 acres in size, but the compact and advanced nature of the city, along with push for investment and business will make GIFT a truly world class smart city to live in. On the other hand, a new smart city at Dholera, Gujarat is being built which is twice the size of Ahmadabad.
Why Smart City?
By the end of 2030, more than 590 million Indians would be residing in urban locations. In 2008, there were 340 million Indians residing at urban locations. Since 1971, it took 40 years for Indian urban population to grow 230 million and the next 250 million would be achieved within 20 years.
With such rapid expansion of human population around urban locations, it has become mandatory to build something which resolves all city problems with the aid of technology and science.
Other Smart Cities
There are other smart cities build in India and all over the world as of now. Globally, more than $41 billion worth of investments are currently being utilized to create such futuristic smart cities, with companies like IBM involved in more than 2500 such projects all across the globe.
China, UAE, France, South Korea, Australia and more countries are right now building these smart cities.
As per the research undertaken as of now, it is expected that 2-2.5 million Indians would be residing inside these smart cities by end of 2040. The future certainly looks exciting now!