51516796_2f87f98eee_o (1)Regular traffic jams on congested and potholed roads, improper disposal of waste and garbage, inadequate and irregular supply of water, and poor sanitation are among many problems facing today’s citizens living in urban centres. And with millions of people relocating to urban areas in hope of better employment and improved lifestyles, the existing and poorly maintained infrastructure of the city continues to be strained even more.

According to the UN, by 2045, the world’s urban population is expected to surpass six billion–with a large percentage of this increase occurring in India and China. In 2014, India’s urbanisation level had nearly doubled since 1950, reaching 32 percent in 2014. These countries are already facing numerous challenges as a result of their growing urban populations–for housing, infrastructure, transport, energy and employment, as well as for basic services such as education and health care.

Earlier this year, India’s present government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced an urban development mission–a plan to create 100 ‘smart cities’ across the country. The India Smart Cities Challenge is a competition designed to inspire and support municipal officials as they develop smart proposals to improve residents’ lives–with the goal to create smart cities to attract investment and professionals.

Over the past two decades, IBM has emerged as a significant contributor in driving India’s  growth by offering a wide range of domain-specific solutions, ranging from banking, traffic and transport, telecommunications, aviation, education, water, energy, waste management, health, disaster and public safety, among others. IBM has been doing significant work in brown-field and greenfield projects with the cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Ajmer, Surat, Visakhapatnam and Allahabad, among others. The company has even collaborated with private real-estate developers to develop townships and Lodha group’s Pallava city under this initiative.

Keeping freight transport on the move IBM is working with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation to create a new transport and urbanisation corridor between the capital city, Delhi, and its business capital, Mumbai. Spanning six states across India, the dedicated freight corridor, which is expected to be completed by 2017, will dramatically reduce transport time between manufacturing plants located in northern India and the port in Mumbai from 14 days to 14 hours.

The project is a major expansion of infrastructure and industry–including smart cities and industrial clusters, along with rail, road, port and air connection –in the states along the route of the corridor. Underpinning this project is the Dighi Industrial City plan. As a contributor to this plan, IBM will provide Intelligent Operations Center software for integrating data and information from all the systems in the port and city so they can be managed efficiently and effectively.

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