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Photos: The making of India’s first “smart city”

By Shelly Walia
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Even as the guidelines on what a “smart city” really entails are awaited, the first-ever is in the making in Indian prime minister’s state Gujarat.

Within a few months after his election victory, Narendra Modi had pushed his agenda for an urbanised India forward—keeping in mind the country’s burgeoning urban population. (By 2050, India’s urban population is expected to almost double to 814 million.)

He had declared that 500 Indian cities will be revamped, heritage cities be restored and refurbished, and 100 “smart cities” be built by 2022.

Now, in Gandhinagar in the country’s western state of Gujarat, this is somewhat the first look of a smart city: “Modern underground infrastructure, two office blocks and not much else,” according to news agency Reuters.

“The plan, however, is for a meticulously planned metropolis complete with gleaming towers, drinking water on tap, automated waste collection and a dedicated power supply,” the report said.

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, as it is called, is being constructed in collaboration with IL&FS Engineering and Construction. The site is 886 acres, and lies between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, one of the most advanced cities in the state.

According to Reuters, this city aims to become a financial hub, on par with cities such as Mumbai and Dubai. Here’s a look at its making:

Reuters/Amit Dave
Engineers walk past a cooling system plant under construction inside Gujarat International Finance Tec-City at Gandhinagar, in Gujarat.
Reuters/Amit Dave
An aerial view of the site under construction.
Reuters/Amit Dave
Labourers look out from a window of a data centre building under construction at India’s first smart city.
Reuters/Amit Dave
A labourer pulls a cable in front of two office buildings in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City.
Reuters/Amit Dave
A worker folds the cable of a welding machine in front of the two office buildings.

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