Project Smart Cities is a visionary project of the Government
of India for sustainable, high quality of life in terms of infrastructure,
mobility and connectivity, technology, environment, availability of resources
and overall living conditions and experience.
The government’s Smart
City initiative is an urban renewal and retrofitting programme to develop 100
such cities in the country. The move envisages a major facelift of the existing
inadequate infrastructure, including roads, flyovers, airports, residential
areas, city sewage systems, community areas, including parks, shopping centres,
hospitals and schools. For structures that are intended to have at least a
100-year life cycle with minimal maintenance but are quick to complete, the
answer lies in steel, whether it is underground, above ground or in buildings.
Underground or above
If made with steel, all
sewage, drainage, water, casing for cable for Internet or transmission, will
ensure zero wastage and maintenance. If roads are laid with concrete
strengthened with steel, it translates to lesser damage over a period. Buildings
across the globe are steel intensive.
Drinking water pipes made of
stainless steel for transporting water after filtration are not only good for
health but also stop leakage of potable water, a precious commodity today.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Waterworks has used
stainless steel to dramatically reduce the city’s water loss.
culverts and crash barriers of steel will protect valuable lives. Thus, stepping
ahead with steel for smart cities will trigger development, with no debris and
faster execution of projects. The assets thus created promise to be long
lasting. Steel is also 100% recyclable, and thus, environment-friendly.
Steel, by virtue of its physical properties, emerges a strong component
in and contributor to the fabrication of infrastructure required for smart
cities. In many landmark buildings, such as the Lotus Temple in Delhi, stainless
steel rebars used have a lifespan of about 300 years. Creating new smart cities
or upgrading old cities is fastest and cost effective with steel structures.
Myth of high costs
There is a misconception
steel works out to be expensive. The principle of life cycle cost has been
included in Rule 136 (1) (iii) of the new General Financial Rules (GFR), 2017.
In many government projects relating to roads, bridges, buildings,
construction of railways, shipping and rural roads, the principle of life cycle
cost will play a decisive role in the sanctioning of the project design.
The use of steel has a major bearing on the life of the project. In the
long run, it will reduce life cycle costs. There might be several projects that
are steel-intensive may see higher initial costs. But, in the long run, their
overall cost comes down — determined by factors such as material, quality,
repairs needed, the time for execution of the projects, etc. All such projects
will add to the inventory of national assets.
Across the globe, cities
are marching towards becoming smart cities. In the attempt, they are either
coming out with unique solutions using existing infrastructure or are adopting
eco-friendly and sustainable models to solve problems of traffic, drainage,
commuting, accommodation, and the like.
In Detroit, Michigan, in the
U.S., dumped wartime steel sheds are being brought back to life. These are being
converted into places of accommodation which look chic and provide low-cost
living in an artful manner.
Smart cities will house cohesive societies
with intensive steel use, and will include advanced architecture and city
planning, buildings made with eco-friendly yet sturdy and durable materials,
advanced technology for faster communication and transportation and adequate
water resources, all being energy efficient as well.