The mega urban modernization project of the Urban Development Ministry – the Smart City Project has entered the first phase with the selection of 20 cities out of the short listed 98.
The twenty cities selected in the first phase are Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Bhuvanagiri, Indore, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal as well as the area under the NDMC in New Delhi.
Cities were selected after the Smart City Challenge round where the city authorities made presentations about their plans about modernization. The 20 cities were selected by an expert panel that included foreign experts after they analyzed the presentations by city representatives.
Altogether the selected 20 cities will get a proposed investment of Rs 50802 crore from different sources including from the central government, state government and private investors.
Centre’s contribution will be Rs 200 crore each in the first year and 100 crore in the next four years. States should make matching investment. Remaining money is planned to procure from private and foreign investors. Some of the smart cities including Varanasi and Chandigarh are already attracted foreign investment participation at governmental level.
Since the cities are supposed to get between Rs 3000 crore to 5000 cores, the project is expected to be financially capable of realizing urban quality enhancement.
Smart city and AMRUT projects are envisioned to transform and upgrade the country’s urban standards into a higher level.
The type of improvement targeted under the Smart Cities Mission is to enhance urban amenities including efficient public transport, water supply, assure electricity, sanitation, IT connectivity and digitalization infrastructure, sustainable environment etc.
No city from UP the state with largest population and largest number of proposals in the short listed 98 made into the first round. It is expected that the next round for selecting the next bunch will start in couple of quarters.