UltraTech Cement - June 2016

UltraTech Cement, along with ACC and Ambuja Cements, have hailed India’s Smart Cities as playing a key role in the medium- to long-term outlook for cement demand in the country. But a meeting this weekend (2 July) raises questions as to just how viable the Smart City concept really is.

The Smart City idea is based on overlaying the city’s infrastructure – water supply, sewage, waste collection, urban mobility and other service provisions – with ICT solutions. In June 2015 India’s prime minister set a target of creating 100 Smart Cities by 2022. For this to be a reality, however, there has to be infrastructure in place in the first instance and a 2011 study of over 1400 urban centres in India revealed that as many as 50 per cent have no water supply and around 30 per cent of households have no toilet.

A further 83 Smart City projects are expected to be announced at this weekend’s meeting but just how and when these translate into improved cement demand remains to be seen.