Centre unveils list of 98 smart cities; UP, TN strike it rich

Mission a safe bet, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu assures investors.

Minister of Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu announces the list of 98 Smart City nominees, in New Delhi. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

With an aim to achieve “inclusive growth”, the Smart City Mission promotes integrated city planning, where the government’s policies such as Swachh Bharat Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation complement each other.

Taking a tough stance over the delay of project approvals at the State-level, Mr. Naidu said the new parameters set by the Ministry have created a “perform or perish” situation where municipal councils “cannot afford to miss this opportunity of recasting the country’s urban landscape”. The Ministry will impose fines on States that violate the timeline of 60 days of finalising the projects.

The missed ones

Nine cities, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Shimla, Puducherry, Daman, Patna, Itanagar, Thiruvananthapuram and Gangtok did not qualify for being a smart city. “This non-inclusion goes to prove that the selection in the first stage of competition was not swayed by the status or importance of the cities and the selection was objective and as per the stipulated criteria,”

Mr. Naidu said the Urban Development Ministry would provide Rs. 100 crore to each city over the next five years.

The success of the government’s Smart City Mission is largely dependent upon the finance generation at the State-level as well as private investments. The Centre has set aside Rs. 48,000 crore for the mission and the money will be released to urban local bodies at frequent intervals in the next five years. The Centre has asked the State governments to generate the rest of the Rs. 48,000 crore as the grand total of the mission is estimated at Rs. 96,000 crore.

Source: The Hindu


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