There was jubilation, yes; but the news in itself came as no surprise when Pune ranked second amongst the top twenty cities declared by the Centre to be developed as smart cities earlier this year. In fact the credit for this confident stance of Pune goes to the combined efforts of civic bodies, the political representation and most importantly the participation of citizens as well.

Pune is classically known for its cutting edge wittiness and proactive citizens. They are concerned about the well being of the city complemented very efficiently by the political representatives and the civic administration is a perfect combination for becoming a smart city.

This is aptly proved by the overwhelming response given by citizens to the initiative by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), ‘Maza Swapna Smart Pune’ in a bid to generate ideas for a smart city. Around 6,200 entries were submitted generating that many smart ideas!

The Pune Smart City Vision includes pan city as well as local area initiatives. The features include setting up physical, social and economic infrastructure, promoting affordable housing, customer care initiatives, river water cleaning, focus on startup zone and a technologically advanced transit hub among others. The main vision behind smart city is to promote the quality of life of citizens and provide them with a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘smart’ solutions. It includes good governance structure, energy, water and waste management and efficient traffic and transport system.

"Pune being listed in the smart city will help attract more investments that will eventually lead to economic growth and development. The city is famous as the ‘Oxford of the East’ for its clout as an educational centre. It is also called ‘Pensioners Paradise’. Thus Pune attracts people from all age groups," expresses Pradeep Runwal, MD, Runwal Reallty.

It is an established IT hub and has a strong manufacturing base in the auto and engineering sector. Rich in human resources, it has the potential to develop into one of the top cities of India. Though matching the pace of urbanization is putting stress on existing infrastructure and available natural resources. This is going to pose as an ultimate challenge to overcome for all concerned. But given the determination and focus of the administration and people of Pune, together they would definitely make the best of this dream project of transforming Pune into a Smart City!