The Indian Government proposes investment worth Rs 500 crore per city to use ICTs to manage basic civic services
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of Smart Cities Mission two years ago. Ever since then, 90 cities have been identified to be developed smart cities. The Central government has now added another nine to the list, taking the total tally to 99.
Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, announced that the following cities will be considered smart cities:
- Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli)
- Erode (Tamil Nadu)
- Diu (Daman & Diu)
- Sharif (Bihar)
- Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh)
- Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh)
- Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh)
- Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
- Kavaratti (Lakshwadeep)
What about the 100th? There is one under consideration, after all. Shillong in Meghalaya has been asked to submit a proposal before it gets selected.
The Smart Cities will use state of the art ICTs to communicate, track, and analyse government services to citizens by 2022. The outlay planned for the first round of investments is Rs 500 crore per city. ICT will be used for management of basic urban services such as water supply, sanitation, housing, waste management and urban mobility.
Technology companies like CISCO, IBM, and SAP have a big role to play in the ICT journey of smart cities. However, analysts and activists have sought details on how the smart city tech infrastructure would be implemented. Questions like security of digital infrastructure, and data privacy are some of the key themes that are being debated about in a scenario where everything is connected.
ICTs will connect every piece of infrastructure, and how the service is delivered to citizens, whether through mobiles or intelligent kiosks.
The proposed investment in the latest nine cities is Rs 12,824 crore (on 409 projects), of which Rs 10,639 crore would be on Area Based Development, and Rs 2,185 crore on pan-city initiatives which would impact 35 lakh persons living in these areas.