India Eyes $700 Billion Investments to Boost Urban Infrastructure

Mr. Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director (Smart Cities Mission), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, today said that India needs around USD 700 billion of investment from 2021 to 2031 to boost its urban infrastructure services like Urban Mobility, Affordable Housing, Water Security, Clean India Mission and Smart Cities Mission. Mr. Kumar along with other Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs officials – Mr. Dinesh Kapila, Economic Advisor (Housing) and Mr. Jaideep, OSD (Urban Transport) was briefing the media on the sidelines of the inauguration of the ‘Urban and Rural Development Week’ at the India Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Ministry is showcasing its efforts being made in comprehensive urban development in India and exhibiting the multi-sectoral opportunities for the World during the ‘Urban and Rural Development Week’ in Dubai. The broad objective is to demonstrate India’s innovative case studies and attract investments to India, fostering market access for other countries. Mr. Kunal Kumar added, “India is a USD 3 trillion economy and aggressively moving towards becoming a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030 and one of main constituents of this growth will be massive urbanisation happening in the country. Rapidly urbanizing India presents exciting investment opportunities for private sector in Indian cities to address several challenges which include improving quality of urban services such as water, sanitation, urban transport and planned development of land resources.”

“The Government of India since 2014, has already invested USD 160 Billion on creating and upgrading urban infrastructure and ensuring ease of living for the citizens. India’s investment in the urban sector has jumped by over 600% during 2014-2021 as compared to 2004-2014. Urban Development is the key to India’s growth because we need productive, liveable cities that ensure ease of doing business,” he said.

Highlighting the opportunities in infrastructure, Mr. Kumar added, “The Government of India has created a National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for infrastructure projects worth USD 1.5 trillion to be completed between 2020-25. Major focus of NIP is across energy (24%), roads (18%), urban (17%) and railways (12%). Each of these urban mission presents opportunities for global companies to invest and grow.”

Speaking on the Smart Cities Mission, Mr. Kumar said that with total investments worth USD 28 billion, the Smart Cities Mission is realizing the vision of 100 ‘smarter’ Indian cities in addressing the challenges of increasing urbanization and ultimately the plan is to cover more than 4000 cities in the country.

On his part, Mr. Jaideep, OSD (Urban Transport), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said, “Urban Transport with a big focus on Metro Rail and other mass transit systems is a critical component of the comprehensive approach initiated towards urbanization. In the last seven years we have operationalised 485 km of Metro network. In National Infrastructure Projects, we have projects worth USD 60 billion out of which USD 32 billion is sanctioned and remaining is in planning stage to be implemented before 2024. We are also working on green urban mobility, sustainable and energy efficient transport system.”

Speaking on the opportunities in the real estate sector in India, Mr. Dinesh Kapila, Economic Advisor (Housing), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said, “The size of the housing sector is currently USD 200 billion in India, and it contributes around 7% to the GDP. The contribution of the real estate sector to the Indian economy is likely to be around USD 1 trillion by 2030. As per an industry study, with massive urbanisation, every year we need to construct 700-900 million sq mt. worth of houses, malls and offices. There are huge opportunities in India in the next ten years and currently the atmosphere is very conducive to the growth of the real estate sector and also the economy.”

The inaugural day also saw a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Cities: Perspective on use of technology’ which saw participation from dignitaries like H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Global Digital & Urban Future Magnate & Former Founding Director General of Smart Dubai, Vice Chairwoman of Emaar Development board (UAE); Mr. Andrea Petti, MD- IMEA Region, PTV Group (Germany); Mr. Sridhar Gadhi, Founder & Executive Chairman, Quantela Inc.; Mr. Afzal Shabaz Mohammed, VP- IoT and Technology and Innovation, Siemens Industrial LLC (UAE); Mr. JVS Ramakrishna, Head – Strategy & CTO (Safe & Smart Cities), L&T Smart World & Communication and Mr. Ashish Khare, GM and Global Head- IoT and Smart Cities, Wipro Ltd.

The session highlighted the importance of IoT in making cities self-sustainable, integrated command and control centres and also discussed the role of emerging technologies in the sector. The second panel discussion on ‘Resurgence and responsible real estate’ saw participation from industry leaders like Mr. Dinesh Kapila, Economic Advisor (Housing), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Mr. Raj Menda, Joint Chairman, FICCI Real Estate Committee and Corporate Chairman, RMZ Corp; Mr. Sanjay Dutt, Joint Chairman, FICCI Real Estate Committee and MD and CEO, Tata Realty & Infrastructure Ltd; Mr. Asheesh Mohta, Senior MD, Real Estate – India, The Blackstone Group; Mr. Sharad Mittal, CEO, Motilal Oswal Real Estate; Mr. Ashish Singh, Partner Real Estate, Actis; Mr. Srini Sriniwasan, MD, Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd. and Mr. Chanakya Chakravarti, MD India, Growth Markets, Ivanhoé Cambridge.

The session highlighted the issues, challenges, and changes in the real estate sector due to the pandemic and the learnings from the unprecedented crisis. It also discussed the role of the government regulations and incentives in driving the sector. The Urban and Rural Development Week will go on till 6th November and the sessions will address themes like Resurgence and Responsible Real Estate, Smart and Sustainable Transportation, Alternate Real Estate, Building Smart, Liveable and Sustainable Cities, and Electric Mobility.


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