What is Smart City?
A smart city uses information and communication technology (ICT) to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public, and provide better government service and citizen welfare.
The fundamental objective of a smart city is to use smart technology and data analysis to optimize city activities and boost economic growth while also enhancing inhabitants’ quality of life. The value of technology is determined by how it is utilized rather than how much of it is accessible.
The core objective of a smart city is to use various technologies and data analysis to enhance city activities and boost economic growth while also improving citizen quality. The value of technology can be determined by how it is utilized rather than how much is available.
A smart city reflects a set of characteristics, including infrastructure based around technology, environmental initiatives, Effective and highly functional public transportation, Confident and progressive city plans, People able to live and work within the city using its resources.
GIFT as a Smart City:
The Government of India announced in April 2015 that an IFSC would be built in Gujarat Worldwide Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), to enable India to achieve its international financial services potential. The GIFT City International Financial Services Center (IFSC) is crucial for developing an efficient platform for all inbound and outbound foreign currency operations.
The Gujarat government has formed “Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited” (GIFTCL) to build and execute GIFT City through its undertaking Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited (GUDCL). GIFT City is an 886-acre integrated development to create 62 million square feet of built-up area, including 67% commercial space, 22% residential space, and 11% social space.
A favorable Multi-Service SEZ and an exclusive Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) make up GIFT City. A total of 261 acres has been designated as SEZ, with an additional 625 acres designated as DTA. This city is a vertical city that will maximize the amount of land available for development. The city is situated on the banks of the Sabarmati River, which connects Gujarat’s business center (Ahmedabad) and political capital (Gandhinagar). The city has excellent internal transportation connections and is connected to the rest of the world via Ahmedabad International Airport, only 20 kilometres away.
The futuristic infrastructure development at GIFT City has won several awards and accolades at various forums. The infrastructure developed in GIFT City, such as District Cooling System (DCS), Automated Waste Collection System (AWCS), and Underground Utility Tunnel, contributes to making the city the world’s leading Smart City.
An international school, medical facilities, a proposed hospital, an international exposition complex, the GIFT City Business Club with indoor and outdoor sports facilities, a relaxation area, and multi-cuisine restaurants are among the city’s social infrastructure. It also has a 5-star hotel and well-planned residential housing complexes, making it an actual “Walk to Work” city.
GIFT City Features:
All the electricity cables will be underground, and ABB Groups of Switzerland will design its power grid. Gas supply to the city is provided by the existing gas Network of GSPL for gas transmission pipelines. District Cooling System will give the cooling system in GIFT City, which will reduce the operational cost by 30-40% and avoid the capital cost of implementing coolers in each building. All waste of the city will be treated through plasma gasification, which will be automatically gathered/ vacuumed through underground pipes.
India’s only operational smart city and International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), GIFT City has also been awarded the GREEN CITIES’ PLATINUM’ Certification for ‘Green Master planning & design and Implementation of GIFT City’s phase I development’ by CII’s Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). GIFT City is India’s first Greenfield Smart City to achieve the IGBC Green Cities Platinum rating. The global and Indian companies consider GIFT City an ideal destination in sync with their environmental and sustainability goals.
GIFT City has strategically planned to achieve high energy efficiency through a district cooling system and 100% LED street lighting. The city has also embraced water management through a 35% reduction in potable water and treatment & reuse of 100% wastewater. Considering the National importance of solid waste management, GIFT City has installed an automated waste collection and segregation plant.
IGBC, with the support of all the stakeholders, is spearheading the 21st-century green building movement in India. As of date, over 6,540 green building projects, amounting to over 7.82 billion sq. ft of the green building footprint, are adopting IGBC green standards for buildings and the built environment. IGBC aspires to facilitate 10 billion sq. ft of green building footprint by 2022.
GIFT city Advantages:
- World Class Infrastructure: GIFT City has world-class infrastructure implemented for the first time in the country, which will help the companies to operate efficiently.
- Single Window Clearance: GIFT Urban Development Authority (GIFT UDA) has been constituted for well-planned urban development of the area. Also, GIFT Notified Committee has been formed for better management at the city level.
- Business cost efficiency: GIFT City Offers-20% reduction in the operating costs viz-a-viz other Tier I locations.
- Quality of Life: The corporates at GIFT City have witnessed Low attrition, which helps to reduce costs in recruitment, retention, training, etc.
- Employment: Currently, more than 200 companies are operational in GIFT City, including leading financial services companies, IT/ITeS institutions, corporate entities, and -10000 people (both direct & indirect) are working in GIFT City.
- Fiscal Incentives: Central and State governments have announced various tax and fiscal incentives for institutions operating in GIFT City.
What are the benefits offered to the occupiers?
Benefits considering incentives under State IT/ ITes Policy and GIFT infrastructure cost advantages.
Assumptions: 2000 employees with an average salary of INR5,00,000 per annum occupying office space of 2,00,000 sq. ft. working 12 hrs. and 25 days in a month.
Few benefits at GIFT under the government of Gujarat policy are:
- Capital subsidy for hardware, networking & related hardware up to INR 1 crore.
- Reimbursement of electricity duty & Rs. 1 subsidy on tariff
- Lease rental subsidy – INR3 to 8 per sq. ft. per month
- Construction subsidy of Rs. 300 per sq. ft. of BUA for vertical IT/ ITes parks
About the author:
– By Viren Mehta, Managing Director – Office Services, Colliers India
Viren Mehta brings with him more than 23 years of experience in the real estate and banking industries, where he focused on growing and establishing new businesses, implementing end-to-end transactions, as well as leading operations to drive productivity and maximize revenue. He also has expertise in conceptualizing and implementing successful strategies to acquire new accounts.
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