India Plans to Build 100 “Smart” Cities for the Elites

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Top Tier Gear USA

dark city

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the rich kept getting richer? I’m not talking about the 1%. They mostly consist of upper-middle-class business owners and real estate agents. No, I’m talking about the 1% of the 1%. The real power behind the throne. The financial and political elite. If their wealth and power continued to grow by leaps and bounds at the expense of everyone else, how do you think they would live their lives?

If you’re curious about the nature of this dystopian future, then look no further than India, where the government is preparing to break ground on the new “Gift City” which will segregate the elites from the rabble, and should be completed by 2021. It will be a glittering enclave with top-notch building codes, 24-hour electricity, and clean water.

High-speed sewage pipelines will rocket their waste out of the city at speeds of 90km per hour (you can’t make this stuff up) and the wide uncongested streets will carry an efficient public transport system. At the center of this gilded settlement, will be a “Command and Control Center” that monitors traffic, and utilizes an extensive system of CCTV cameras. Despite the sprawling surveillance that would make most sane people uncomfortable, compared to the rest of this impoverished nation it will be a veritable utopia.

What’s more, India plans to build 100 of these “smart” cities, while restructuring another 500 smaller towns in their image. Obviously, these will not be built for the benefit of the common man. If anything, they will be more like feudal estates that lord over the wider population.

Yet many experts and planners fear that such “insta-cities”, if they are made, will prove dystopic and inequitable. Some even hint that smart cities may turn into social apartheid cities, governed by powerful corporate entities that could override local laws and governments to “keep out” the poor.

In a monograph for a conference on smart cities in Mumbai in January, the economist and consultant Laveesh Bhandari described smart cities as “special enclaves” that would use prohibitive prices and harsh policing to prevent “millions of poor Indians” from “enjoying the privileges of such great infrastructure”. “This is the natural way of things,” he noted, “for if we do not keep them out, they will override our ability to maintain such infrastructure.”

Personally, this wouldn’t normally bother me. If you have the money and you want live in a gated community with 24-hour security, then more power to you. This is the same thing, just on a larger scale. I mean, if a bunch of rich people want to get together and build what is basically a corporate microstate, who cares? If they want to live separately from everyone else and they can afford it, that’s their business if you ask me.

The only problem is, it’s not their money. They’re doing this at the expense of everyone else. This city is not being funded out of their own pocket, it’s being built with tax dollars, and the land will probably be stolen from local residents through eminent domain. This is a classic example of wealthy elites and corrupt politicians working hand it hand to maintain their power and standard of living. They’re building their gilded atrocity on the backs of everyday citizens who, make no mistake, will not see any of the benefits.

The current template might have given us Palava City. This self-described smart city across 3,000 acres of Mumbai’s northeastern exurbs is being built by a city-based developer best known for treating skyscraper-erecting as a competitive sport. As its promotional video announces in a smug baritone, Palava City was inspired by the futuristic vision that brought Singapore, Dubai “and even Mumbai” into being.

What this translates into is “essential public infrastructure” such as 24×7 electricity, immaculate wide roads, public transport, malls, multiplexes and luxury housing, including “Mumbai’s first and only golf-course-equipped residential township”. To make sure that no one trespasses on its immaculate privatopia, Palava plans to issue its residents with “smart identity cards”, and will watch over them through a system of “smart surveillance”.

The emphasis on surveillance underlines the stratified, elitist nature of smart cities, according to the academic and author Pramod Nayar. “Smart cities will be heavily policed spaces,” he says, “where only eligible people – economically productive consumers (shoppers) and producers (employees) – will be allowed freedom of walking and travel, while ambient and ubiquitous surveillance will be tracked so as to anticipate the ‘anti-socials’.”

As such, Nayar adds, smart cities will be “more fortresses than places of heterogeneous humanity, because they are meant only for specific classes of people”. One class to be served, the other to be surveilled and contained.

What a nightmare.

This is the future. And just because this is in India, don’t think it won’t happen where you live someday. This is the world the financial elite want to build. A world where they can just plow over the little people, and build their own opulent fortified cities with public funds while the starving masses live just outside the gates, in squalor so thick they can never escape. A state within a state that has special rights and privileges for its members. This is nothing less than a form of high-tech feudalism, and its coming to a town near you.

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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

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  • Frank

    Maybe the title can be changed to “America Plans to Build 100 “Smart” Cities for the Elites” – since there are already semi-fortified/protected enclaves of wealthy “elite” Americans who own everything and seek to enslave the masses for their own, growing enrichment. The thing is, in America, these “fortified cities” would become targets as the “have-nots” would get very creative in ways to penetrate and take what they are being told they cannot have. Those “smart cities” would become islands of starvation and death, as the outside world would cut them off (Seige Warfare) and force them to leave the safety of their fortress to eat – and be met with death. No, its better to live among the masses and do what you can to improve the lives of those around you.

  • MW Hohimer

    I’m surprised it hasn’t already happened here in the US.

  • Jackson Heuer

    I didn’t think India was this corrupt. No wonder they have Maoists everywhere.

    • Aditya Verma

      not everywhere dummy! in 7-8 states only

      • Jackson Heuer

        Oh, alright.

  • Nexusfast123

    Won’t be long before it all collapses.

  • mirageseekr

    This already does happen here. I used to work in downtown Cleveland in the area of the city called the Flats. This area was a social hub with bars and restaurants that brought a much needed tax base to the inner city. It used to be common for the businesses to change owners or simply close and re-brand themselves, opening with new and exciting places that drew people to spend money. Then probably the wealthiest man in Cleveland, Mr. Wolstein started buying up places one by one and instead of opening something new he boarded up the buildings thus bringing urban blight to what used to be one of the cities best revenue generators and employment opportunities. Mr Wolstien then after causing all of these problems went to the city to tell them his grand plan to “revitalize” the area. To complete his goal the city assisted him in getting rid of the last few business owners with eminent domain rules. Would you like to know what now sits on this valuable piece of property that sits on Lake Erie right where the Cuyahoga River joins it? High rent luxury condo’s and apartments. Of course it did create a few jobs because the wealthy need people to do their laundry and clean for them but gone are many decent blue collar jobs and the small business owners who ran them. (bartenders, managers, servers, bouncers, chefs etc…) Why the construction itself caused so much damage to the street that they gladly rebuilt the road for him so that elite wouldn’t put extra wear and tear on their BMW’s. The city was also kind enough to address some plumbing and flooding issues that may have upset his new tenants, and of course he is getting huge tax breaks because after all look how he is “helping” the city. Gone are the local docs where anyone could go and enjoy the public spaces for a sunset. Gone are the businesses and employees who paid the taxes that went to help the crumbling inner city Cleveland schools. I hear Labron James is thrilled with the view and the fact he can be at the stadium in just a couple minutes for the games though.

  • RE

    And kill off all the garbage, slaves and “little people” who are not wealthy. But wait! We still need some of the slaves to clean the toilets.
    The rich will walk the earth as living gods. And they are, because they have money. At no time in history (except ma by the pre revaluation France), have the rich been richer. The greed of wealth has adulterated every atom of human existence.

  • Undecider

    Let the “Elite” inhabit these cities. I’ll take the woods.

  • abinico

    Kind of ironic – smart cities for stupid people.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    I’m guessing that “gentrification” was a milder, older form of Gift Cities.

  • Rogoraeck

    Only for Brahmin ! Dalits not allowed within 50 miles !
    As according to our “respected” western press.
    India the Greatest Democracy” on Earth.
    LOL !

  • Aditya Verma

    why does everyone think that smart cities won’t help the poor and downtrodden?

  • Aditya Verma

    why does everyone think that smart cities won’t help poor and downtrodden?