Soon, India will have standardised guidelines for setting up smart cities across the country. For the first time in the country, Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) is set to come up with a new of standards for smart city projects.
For this, a new technical committee under Civil Engineering Department (CED) of BIS has been created to take up standardization work in the area of smart cities, said B K Sinha, head, CED at BIS. The committee has been formed under the chairmanship of former secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, Sudhir Krishna, (Retd. IAS).
In the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for setting up of 100 smart cities in the country, the standards will act as guidelines for central and state authorities in planning, design and construction of smart cities.
"A series of standards shall be formulated under this technical committee. The standards will be in form of 'guidelines and model code of practice' to be followed by various central/state authorities for taking up smart cities projects. However, initially the standard on 'terminology' and 'components' of smart cities shall be formulated first," said Sinha. The first such set of standards on terminology and components are likely to come up by end of the year.
Moreover, the draft standard prepared by the committee shall be put under wide circulation on public domain including BIS website for two months for eliciting public comments. Only after reviewing the comments, shall the standards be finalized by the committee.
"This will again be approved by the Civil Engineering Divisional Council, after which it is published after issue of Gazette notification by Government of India. First standard is likely to be finalized by the year-end," Sinha said.
Subsequently, standards on integrated approach, administration, management and governance, physical, institutional, social, economic and ICT infrastructure, financing smart cities and monitoring and evaluation of smart cities shall be formulated.
Nevertheless, adoption of the BIS standards on smart cities by implementing agencies is likely to be voluntary.
"These standards shall be voluntary in nature but will lay down a set of minimum provisions for cities to be declared smart. The concerned authorities shall adopt and implement the provisions contained in these guidelines. These standards will define various elements/parameters to be included in the smart cities," said Sinha while adding, "BIS has no role in implementing and monitoring these cities as on date. Its role is limited to the formulation of national standards, guidelines, code of practice and specifications which are to be used by all the stakeholders involved."
Currently, according to Sinha, there are no specific standards available for smart cities concept. However, documents on road maps for smart cities have been published by British Standards Institute (BSI), German Standards Organization (DIN) and similar international standards bodies. Moreover, standards have been published on sustainable development of communities, sustainable city life indicators, various tools of ICT applications etc which can be implemented and utilized in creating smart cities.
The standards prepare by BIS will be based on Indian social and economic conditions for smart cities. "Hence the concept paper of Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) shall be an important document/basis of the formulation of BIS standards, apart from internationally available documents on the subject," Sinha said.
Once formulated, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India, will act as the implementing authority for the standards in smart cities programs of the Government.