NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Government of India will spend Rs 48,000 crore in developing 98 smart cities over the next five years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious project with announcement of criteria and guidelines for 100 smart cities to be selected through city challenge competition in 25 June.
According to the government, the smart cities should feature area based developments; applying smart solutions to infrastructure and services, housing and inclusiveness; walkable localities; preserving and developing open spaces; variety of transport options; citizen-friendly and cost effective governance, etc.
Who made it to the elite list?
As per the profile of the selected cities, 35 cities and towns have a population between one and five lakh. There are 21 cities with population between five and 10 lakh; 25 cities have population of above 10 lakh and below 25 lakh. Five cities have population between 25 to 50 lakhs. Four cities - Chennai, Greater Hyderabad, Greater Mumbai and Ahmedabad have population of about above 50 lakh each.
The major cities included are: Vishakhapatnam, Guwahati, Chandigarh, NDMC, Panaji, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mangaluru, Hubli-Dharwad, Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Nasik, Thane and Greater Mumbai. The list includes 13 cities from Uttar Pradesh, 12 cities from Tamil Nadu, 10 from Maharashtra, seven from Madhya Pradesh, three from Bihar and three from Andhra Pradesh.
Step in the right direction:
"The announcement is a positive step forward. The next step would be to identify the first set of 20 cities that will get Rs 500 crore of budgetary support. This money is only seed funding to jumpstart the process of transformation of Indian cities. It would be critical to also transform the governance structure at the city level to enable a sustainable city transformation," said Jaijit Bhattacharya, Partner, Infrastructure and Government Services, KPMG India.
"We welcome the Centre's decision to set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for each smart city and are confident that these will help define the contours of the upcoming smart cities. We are quite upbeat that the Rs 3 lakh crore allocated by the government for this mission will induce active participation from all stakeholders," said Anil Chaudhry, MD & Country President, Schneider Electric India.