Government’s mega urbanization project that distributes Rs One lakh crores among states and UTs for the development of urban centres has been finalized.
The allocation of smart cities and AMRUT cities indicate that the NDA ruled larger states gained significantly. On the other hand, the losers are the small states. Very small states and UTs who got the minimum allocation of one smart city also made notable gains.
Largest populated state in the country, UP which has a population of 16 percent, gets 13 percent of smart cities and ten percent of the AMRUT cities.
But the major gainer in the allocation seems to be Tamil Nadu. The state which has six percent of the population gets 12 smart cities out of the total 100.
On the other hand, Bihar, one of the poorest state and not ruled by the NDA, has a population of nearly 9%, but gets only three smart cities. Bihar along with West Bengal- the two densely populated states in the country that holds sixteen per cent of the population were awarded only seven smart cities. These two non-NDA states are the losers in the allocation of urbanization projects among the large states.
Among the small states, Punjab seems to be the major gainer with a notable more than proportionate allocation of both smart cities and AMRUT. On the other hand, states that have higher population than Punjab –Kerala, Jharkand and Assam were awarded minimum representation of one smart cities equal to the allocation given to some union territories that have only sub fractional population.
Altogether, twelve States are expected to lead the urban transformation in the country. These twelve are -Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana and Chhattisgarh. They will account for 70 per cent of cities to be developed under these two schemes, as per the Ministry of Urban Development.
Major national dailies reported that of these 12, 8 are under the rule of BJP or its allies, accounting for about half of smart cities and AMRUT cities.
The much awaited allocation of Smart cities and AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) is considered to be NDA government’s policy revealing exercise which many feared will repeat the old custom of tying politics with development.
New urbanization vision by the government aims to create 100 smart cities and rejuvenate 500 AMRUT towns/cities.