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Modi reinvigorates plan for futuristic city in Gujurat

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City is heralded as the first of many "smart" cities for India but is still a work in progress. (AMIT DAVE/Reuters/Landov)

The hoopla surrounding India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of 100 “smart” cities by 2022 has been tempered by a sobering fact. He has failed to get the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), a global financial hub that he proposed in 2007, off the ground.

Aditi Shah reports for Reuters that GIFT is finally on track to become an Indian version of Dubai or Singapore. The sleek new city is rising near Gandhinagar, capital of the state of Gujarat, where Modi previously served as Chief Minister.

GIFT is being trumpeted as a model for the nation. India is poised to more than double its urban population by 2050 from 400 million to 814 million, Shah emphasizes. Yet many of India’s cities struggle now to cope with population growth and overburdened infrastructure. Speaking to Reuters, Shirish Sankhe, director in McKinsey’s Mumbai office, cautions that if India is to address its urbanization woes, it must start by improving existing cities. 


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