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Smart City Centres help improve public service delivery: Indian Minister of for Housing & Urban Affairs

Smart City Centres help improve public service delivery Indian Minister of for Housing Urban Affairs

Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs, Mr Hardeep Singh
said that Smart
City Centres
are helping in improved and efficient delivery of
services that are provided by the government, while speaking at a consultative
committee meeting in Surat, Gujrat.

In an official press release, the Ministry stated
that the Smart City Centre project
that was launched on 25 June 2015 is a component of the Smart City
that will make the delivery of public services more

Smart Cities are designed to improve quality of
life, generate employment and to increase the efficiency of local bodies,
public services, and the overall management of city infrastructure, using

During the meeting, representatives of Smart Cities
from Surat,
Pune, Visakhapatnam,
New Delhi
Municipal Council
(NDMC) and Bhubaneshwar
discussed the progress made by the projects in their cities such as, Smart
Class Rooms in Visakhapatnam and NDMC, Social
Equity Centres in Bhubaneshwar
, the Mayor's Express in Bhopal, and the
Disaster Resilience Mechanisms adopted in smart cities located in coastal

According to the press release, nine Integrated
Control and Command Centres (ICCC)
– at Ahmedabad, Kakinada,
Visakhapatnam, Nagpur, Pune, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara and Bhopal have become
operational. Indian cities are becoming cleaner due to the monitoring of
cleaning work through CCTV cameras that have led to a reduction in litter, and
the burning of garbage etc. The
Intelligent Transit Management System
has helped the city of
Ahmedabad increase efficiency by reducing its operational cost while
simultaneously improving service.

Around 1350 projects worth IN ₹50,000 crore (approximately
US $7.3 billion) have been tendered in the Smart City Mission initiative, of
which work has begun or been completed in 950 projects costing IN ₹30,675 crore
(approximately US $4.5 billion). The Ministry has invited tenders for another
400 projects with an outlay of about IN ₹20,000 crore
(approximately US $2.9 billion).

Other projects being implemented in the mission are
Smart Roads for the optimum utilisation of space and to add universal
accessibility in 31 cities; 47 cities are implementing more than 120 mW (mega
Watt) of solar projects to promote the production of clean energy.

A primary aim of the mission is to improve the
quality of public waterbodies like riverfronts, city lakes, and ponds. Smart
City Centres also provide technological support to create safer streets as they
enable faster responses and better preparedness for emergencies and disasters.

Mr Hardeep Puri said that it is important for Urban
Local Bodies (municipal corporations) to be financially independent and
self-sufficient to increase development. He noted that the Ministry has also
started a campaign for
credit rating
, which has been completed in 412 cities, out of which
155 cities have been given "investment grade", which means its
municipal corporation has a relatively low risk of default or not being able to
pay interest or principal on a loan or security when required.

Mr Hardeep Puri stated that for the Smart City
mission, municipal organisations need to leverage their financial resources by
municipal bonds, value capture finance, Public-Private
Partnership (PPP),
multilateral loans, etc. He added that 98
projects costing IN ₹6,000 crore (US $879 million) have been implemented
through Public Private Partnership (PPP). PPP projects are doing well not only
in the metropolitan cities but even in the smaller towns.

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