The government recently announced the names of 13 more cities that will be developed under the Centre’s ‘Smart City Mission’ with Lucknow in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh topping the list, followed by Warangal in Telangana and Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh.
Twenty-three cities with the higher rankings from as many States and Union terrritories, which failed to get representation in the first round of a competition held in January, participated in the ‘Fast Track Competition’, the result of which was announced by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday. Of these 23 cities, only 13 could qualify for the smart city projects through the fresh competition. Other cities, which won this round, were Chandigarh, Raipur (Chhattisgarh), New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur (Bihar), Panaji (Goa), Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Imphal (Manipur), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Faridabad (Haryana).
“The 13 cities selected in the Fast Track Competition have proposed a total investment of Rs 30,229 crore. With this, the investment proposed by 33 cities (20 cities announced in January and 13 cities on Tuesday) under the smart city plans is now Rs 80, 789 crore,” Naidu told a press conference.
Seven capital cities — Patna (Bihar), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Naya Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) — which were not included in the 100 cities shortlisted for the competition will be able to participate in the next round with other cities, the minister said.
Also read : What it takes to be a Smart City?
Also, one out of Meerut and Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and another out of Jammu and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir would also be selected for evaluation under the mission, Naidu added. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting programme by the Government of India. The mission is to develop 100 cities all over the country making them citizen-friendly and sustainable. The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the State governments of the respective cities. The government of India has a vision of developing 100 smart cities as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernising the existing mid-sized cities.