Implementation of smart city project not smart: Premji

Bengaluru, Feb 4 (IANS) The NDA government’s flagship smart city project drew flak from Wipro Chairman Azim Premji on Saturday for its tardy implementation.

“It is unfortunate that the smart city project got lot of attention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi but its implementation has been shallow,” said Premji at a function to celebrate the company’s 2016 earthian programme awards here.

Observing that there was more talk than action, Premji said the software major was, however, providing IT and lighting solutions to the project whereever it was being implemented.

As one of the Modi government’s flagship programmes, launched in June 2015, the smart city project is aimed at providing world-class infrastructure and ICT solutions in 109 cities across the country.

“There is a need for a well-rounded approach to get the project moving as there is very little action on the ground,” said the IT czar on the occasion.

The company’s annual progamme provides a platform for students to learn about sustainability in the education process at schools and colleges in the country and acts as a catalyst to foster excellence in thinking and action among the youth.

Presenting the awards to the winners of the sixth edition of the programme, the IT czar advocated for greater use of alternative energy like hydro and green than coal to protect the environment and prevent climate change.

“More green energy should be used instead of coal. So also hydro in a scientific manner and not at the cost of environment,” asserted Premji.

An expert jury selected 10 schools and 10 colleges as winners of the 2016 edition of the programme from over 1,000 institutes from across the country.

The awards include a certificate each and cash prizes.

The software major’s earthian programme has engaged about 50,000 institutes, 1,25,000 students and 12,000 teachers since its launch in 2011.

“The overarching purpose of earthian is to collaborate and work along with schools and colleges so that sustainability becomes more integral to the education of the students,” said Wipro Chief Sustainability Officer Anurag Behar.