The city has witnessed a phenomenal growth in all spheres, particularly in terms of industry and urbanisation. It is a hub for multinational companies, industry giants, call centres, software companies, shopping malls and skyscrapers.
This puts Gurgaon, the financial capital of Haryana, in a strong position in the ‘self-financing’ category of the smart city race. The Union ministry of urban development (MoUD) has allotted 30 points for this category.
Out of this, 20 have been allotted to the audit of accounts, payment of salaries by urban local bodies (ULB) up to last month, and percentage contribution of tax revenue and user charges, rents and other internal revenue sources to the ULB budget.
According to records, MCG earns much more than it spends. The presence of a large number of corporate firms and developers in Gurgaon ensures a steady revenue flow. While irregular payment to contractual workers has led to them striking work in the past, permanent employees are paid regularly.
“Gurgaon has potential to become one of the smartest cities in the country. The influx of foreign companies has increased in the last 10 years,” said Ashish Gupta, global COO of EvalueServe.
With the collaboration of Suzuki Motors of Japan and Maruti Udyog Limited in the early 80s, an era of rapid industrialisation began in Gurgaon, giving the district visibility on the international map.
Meanwhile, experts have said the corporate sector needs more government support to develop infrastructure and services. Several corporate and developer bodies such as Nasscom, CII, Naredco and Credai are working to increase awareness and assist local authorities to improve civic amenities. “We tried to construct a road near our office in Udyog Vihar, and lay footpaths and cycle tracks. However, we were told that only the civic authority can do so. After persuading the traffic police, we are now painting a zebra crossing at the traffic signal near our office,” said Manas Fuloria, co-founder, Nagarro Software.
In the last sub-category, establishment and maintenance cost of water supply, Gurgaon may score well. According to the 2011 Census, 65% of households in Gurgaon are dependent on treated water supply. Gurgaon may have scored low if minimum exploitation of groundwater was a criterion. There are several construction sites and households that depend on groundwater through borewells. “It is important to be ecologically smart. However, this aspect is neglected in the smart cities project,” said Sarvadaman Oberoi, environmental activist.