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Thirty more cities selected by Indian government for development as smart cities, taking total up to 90

The Indian government has selected 30 more cities1 for development as smart cities. The total number of cities picked till now under the government’s Smart City Mission launched on June 25, 2015. is up to 90.

Minister of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, M. Venkaiah Naidu, said that 45 cities contested for 40 available smart city slots but only 30 were selected to ensure feasible and workable plans matching the aspirations of the citizens.

Of the 30 new smart cities announced, 26 have proposed affordable housing projects benefiting the urban poor, while 26 cities will be taking up school and housing projects and 29 intend to take up smart road projects for widening besides enabling cycling and walking that help the common man.

All 30 cities will develop Integrated  Command and Control Centres that enable better coordination among various city agencies for better service delivery and effective management of scarce resources like water and power. The first Command and Control Centres, in  Pune and Nagpur, will become operational on June 25 on the occasion of second anniversary of launch of Smart City Mission.

Due to limitations of financial resources and inadequacies of planning and execution abilities, mission cities are choosing relatively small areas to start with, for addressing infrastructure deficit. In several cities it comes to more than 10% of total city area. The city governments and citizens have the leeway to select the area in the mission cities to be selected for Area Based Development  and there are no restrictions imposed by the mission guidelines in this regard.

The 30 cities have proposed a combined total investment of Rs.574 billion (USD 8.9 billion) under their respective smart city plans. Out of this Rs.479 billion (USD 7.3 billion) will be invested for ensuring core infrastructure in the areas identified by citizens for area based development and Rs.105 billion for technology-based solutions for improving governance , service delivery and utilisation of infrastructure. With this, the total investment approved under the smart city plans for the 90 cities has gone up to Rs.1.9 trillion (USD 29 billion).

In order to prevent excess focus on the technology aspects, mission guidelines have prescribed that less than 25% of the cost of smart city plan be spent on technology based pan-city solutions.        

Minister Naidu highlighted that  7% of the 11,705 projects approved during the last two years are already under implementation and are expected to be completed by the stipulated timeline of 2019-20.

Twenty cities2 will be contesting for the remaining 10 slots under smart city mission.

1List of 30 new cities in order of scores (City name/ State or Union Territory): Trivandrum (Kerala), Naya Raipur (Chattisgarh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Patna (Bihar), Karimnagar (Telangana), Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Puducherry (Puducherry), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), Sagar (Madhya Pradesh or MP), Karnal (Haryana), Satna (MP), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Tiruppur (Tamil Nadu), Pimpri chinchwad (Maharashtra), Bilaspur (Chattisgarh), Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir), Dahod (Gujarat), Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu or TN), Thootukkudi (TN), Tiruchirapalli (TN), Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh or UP), Aizawl (Mizoram), Allahabad (UP), Aligarh (UP), Gangtok (Sikkim)

2List of 20 cities contesting for remaining 10 slots; Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Biharsharif (Bihar), Diu (Daman & Diu), Silvassa (Dadra and Nager Haveli), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Navimumbai, Greater Mumbai and Amaravati (Maharashtra), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dindigul and Erode(Tamil Nadu), Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia (West Bengal), Meerut,Rai  Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Sharanpur and Rampur (UP)

Read two related press releases here and here

Featured image: Trivandrum Mahathma Gandhi road (by Axe DB/ CC BY-SA 3.0)

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