Japan will contribute in terms of credit and technology in an ambitious and ground-breaking infrastructure project which will build 24 green cities in India’s western region. The project is part of the proposed $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor mega-infrastructure project which aims at boosting the economic growth along the about 1500-km-long stretch that joins the most important cities of India, New Delhi and Mumbai.
The aim of the green cities projects is to fulfill the basic infrastructure requirements in the smaller towns along this corridor so as to increase and expand the economic growth and prosperity. The improved infrastructure in these towns and cities would mean new generation and export capabilities which would immensely contribute to the economic development and GDP growth of India.
The two metropolitans central to this project are completely developed but still face some basic infrastructure problems due to increasing load of transportation and degrading roads, public transport being unpopular, and a very high influx of people from villages in search of jobs. In order to provide inclusive growth and better living standards to people living in the rural areas, it is important to concentrate the infrastructure push towards the rural and less developed areas.
Therefore, the Indian and Japanese governments are planning to develop green cities which would be planned and executed in a manner that would ensure sustainable growth. The cities would have better transport facilities centered around public transport. The micro infrastructure located within the city would be developed in a way so that it would be easily accessible to the people without the use of any kind of transportation. Electricity and water supply are among the biggest problems in India and these cities would have optimized power supply and 24-hour water supply. The cities would also have waste and water recycling plants.
Such projects would not only improve the economic conditions of the relatively less developed areas of India but also help them participate and further boost India’s economic growth. With several macro and micro infrastructure projects planned over the next five to seven years under this mega project, thousands of jobs would be created which would reduce the migration of people towards the metros.
Japan is also likely to offer some of its energy efficient technologies. Since Japan is a net importer of energy it must use all the resources efficiently. Power is a scare resource in India and Japanese technology can help it reduce the number of power shortages and use it much more efficiently.
Japan has been providing substantial financial and technical aid to India for several years. It has invested in numerous infrastructure projects including the Delhi Metro project. The DMIC project is already underway and will cover six states — Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Preparatory work on the pilot projects for seven green cities has already started and the first city will come up in the Dholera investment zone, Gujarat.
Mridul Chadha currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.