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Hitachi plans to corner lion’s share of smart city scheme, eyes all cities

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Eyeing the lion’s share of the government’s Rs 98,000-crore smart city initiative, Japanese business conglomerate Hitachi has brought in smart city solutions in every space nad is hoping to bag projects in the 100-plus proposed smart cities.

The company is in talks with multiple state governments and has bagged a number of projects in different cities directly or is working with some local partners on different solutions. “We are open to all opportunities that we can find in India,” said Justin Bean, director of Smart City Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Insight Group.

The company aims to be part of all smart city programmes in the country directly or indirectly and has come up with a host of India-specific products.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to roll out 109 smart cities and upgrade existing cities under the Smart Cities Mission. Presently, 16 public-private partnership smart city projects worth Rs 1327.67 crore are being implemented and 36 public private partnership (PPP) projects worth Rs 3925.71 crore are at various stages of tendering.

According to Hitachi, India is a large and important market for the company in the smart city space and they are making a lot of progress in bringing the resources which would help it provide practical and workable solutions.

“We are working with state and local governments and also working with partners in India. The state governments want to ensure that the solutions are real. Many companies have great PowerPoint presentations, but when it comes down to it, the solutions might not work on ground. We are delivering a lot of technology. The government is in the implementation phase where they are trying to figure out who the right companies are,” Bean added.

Hitachi is already working in Dahej city in Gujarat where the company is creating low carbon, environment-friendly infrastructure. It has already bagged a few power and water management projects.

The $90 billion worth company has been in India for the last 15 years and has over 600 customers. Hitachi Insight Group part of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), which is working on smart city projects in countries ranging from Japan, Australia, Sweden, and the Philippines has been for sometime been in touch with state governments to get clarity on the solutions and is working on them accordingly.

Other players who are eyeing smart city projects include Finnish communications and information technology company Nokia, which is going all out to showcase its Internet of Things (IoT)-based products.

The company plans to come out with a host of solutions for smart cities such as smart metering, active waste management, smart parking and various other sensor technology-enabled products.

Many other companies have been working round the clock to be ready for smart city projects. After acquiring a controlling stake in Italian design firm Pininfarina, Tech Mahindra plans to branch out into designing smart cities as well as providing different design solutions in various sectors.

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