(DIYA TV) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been labeled a “proactive” and “progressive” leader since assuming office in India — now, he hopes to modernize some of the country’s most chaotic cities by implementing a firmer marriage of help from the United States.

Modi’s plan? To build 100 “smart cities” nationwide, with the goals of using technology from the U.S. and around the world to improve the quality of life and environmental sustainability in India’s dramatically underdeveloped urban areas.

After visiting India a year ago, President Obama pledged his support of Modi’s plan, and this week a group of U.S. officials and businessmen traveled through the country promoting American products and expertise to further the growth of the Prime Minister’s multi-billion dollar proposal. Currently, all eyes are fixated on creating a master plan for the port of Visakhapatnam, and providing technical support for two others.

Critics of Modi’s smart cities program have opined there remains a lack of clarity in what exactly the government believes makes a city “smart,” and whether India will be able to step away from its traditional bureaucratic and infrastructure challenges that have long stirred away foreign investors. Bruce Andrews, deputy commerce secretary, spoke on the issue while addressing a news conference at the country’s financial hub in Mumbai.

“Greater U.S. private sector investment will depend on addressing the persistent business challenges,” Andrews said. “U.S. companies and investors around the world need markets with clear [public-private partnership] structures, predictable environmental regulations and strong intellectual property protections. Progress has been made … but more can be done.”

India began liberalizing its economy nearly a generation ago, but the aforementioned has remained a similar narrative heard by American and other foreign investors during the same time. Foreign investments have remained low, particularly in major infrastructure projects — something which is central to Modi’s program. In certain sectors, India requires foreign investors to partner with domestic companies and use local goods.

As a direct result of these policies, India has seen several potential business relationships and money leave the country — several hundred major infrastructure projects have been delayed or abandoned completely. Aside from some crown jewel airport projects, and an improved transnational highway system, India remains flooded with an influx of people occupying an underdeveloped infrastructure.

Just how many people exactly?

A McKinsey Global Institute report projected that India’s urban population would soar from 340 million just eight years ago in 2008 to 590 million by the year 2030. The suffering from a lack of urban planning in the country became exploited this month when a massive and unmonitored trash landfill outside of Mumbai—home to nearly 15 million people—caught fire, blanketing the city with a cloud of smoke for several days.

Modi took office two years ago in 2014, and brought with him a clear mandate of economic growth and development, and has since recently added the idea of easing obstacles to further growth to his administrations goals. In December, a panel of government-appointed experts recommended sweeping changes in how public-private partnerships are regulated in the country. Modi’s administration has earmarked $7 billion for his smart cities program, calling on India’s cities to bid for grants by developing proposals centric to providing 24-hour water and electrical supplies, emphasizing solar energy, and developing state-of-the-art transportation and education systems.

But again, Modi’s critics fear his plan is too vague and is designed to benefit corporations, allowing them to develop more gentrified communities in the middle of the country’s tremendous poverty.

“They run the risk of becoming enclaves of privilege, with private sector representatives already advocating the exclusion of the poor and marginalized through high prices and policing,” Ayona Datta, a lecturer at the University of Leeds in Britain recently wrote.