Mumbai: Mumbai needs $220 billion (approximately 14,74,000 crore or 14.74 trillion) of investment in hard infrastructure and smart technology over the next 20 years to be “future-proof", according to a report by consultancy firm McKinsey. This pales against the city corporation’s smart city proposal of under 2,000 crore while the city’s recent Development Plan (DP) 2034 doesn’t lay out a cohesive infrastructure strategy or investment outlay for the city.

The report found that Indian cities fare much worse than even Latin American and African metros in adoption of technology, the McKinsey report said. The study, put together by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the research division of the consultancy, evaluated 50 major global cities for their “smartness". With the highest score set at 37 points, Jaipur scored only 2.7 (lowest among the cities studied), Pune 6.4 (at par with Nairobi) and Mumbai 8.8, ranking below counterparts such as Mexico City and Cape Town. (These were the three Indian cities that made it to the 50 that were studied.)

MGI assessed that a city’s “smartness" lay in a base of devices/sensors/communication networks, smart applications and tools and public adoption of these applications. MGI found that bringing in the right technology, cities can reduce urban fatalities by 8-10% while a more data-driven approach to policing could reduce crime incidents such as burglaries and assaults by 30-40%.

A range of available smart applications can also cut emissions by 10-15%, save 25-80 liters of water per person each day, reduce unrecycled solid waste by 30-130 kg per person annually, and reduce the negative health effects from air pollution by 8-15%.

Speaking to Mint, Suveer Sinha, partner, McKinsey said there are easy low-hanging fruits that Indian cities can adopt over the next one to three years to bring more immediate benefits to quality of life, such as real-time public transport information, public Wi-Fi or smart waste management.

“While an app that gives information on public transport saves time for the commuter, it doesn’t replace the need for new fleets of buses. Intelligent solutions are not a replacement for hard infrastructure, but can show good results," he said.

The research arm of ratings agency Crisil said in an evaluation of Mumbai’s Development Plan 2034 that the plan would open up 3,650 hectares for development, but at the cost of “pressurising existing infrastructure."

“A lot of strategic steps are being initiated for urban infrastructure in Mumbai. It’s great that we are thinking holistically about this. For example, with the Mumbai Metro, work on four corridors are on, entailing investment of 30,000-40,000 crore. Mumbai is developing an extensive network for this. But these projects need to be executed on time and the city needs to fill the gaps in funding in building these projects," Sinha added.

McKinsey estimates that Mumbai needs $220 billion to build hard and smart infrastructure from 2015-2035. “Unfortunately," Sinha said, “There are no 20-year infrastructure plans for cities. City governments create plans for their individual terms. So, there is no comparable government figure for how much the city’s corporation will spend to create infrastructure over this period."

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