India has released the third list of 30 new cities for the Smart City Project. These include the capital cities of Kerala, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Sikkim and the new capital of Chhattisgarh, Naya Raipur.
30 cities made it to the final list while 45 had contested for the 40 available smart city slots. The smaller number was to ensure feasible and workable plans.
The list was announced on 23 June, 2017. While 100 cities are slated to be converted to smart cities under the mission, 90 have been selected till now. Rae Bareli city, belonging to the constituency of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, failed to make it to the list this time.
Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that “Of the 30 cities announced, 26 have proposed affordable housing projects that benefit the urban poor, 26 cities will be taking up school and hospital projects, 29 will be taking up redesign and redevelopment of roads.” He further added that the 30 cities proposed a total investment of Rs 57,393 crore under their respective smart city plans.
Recap Of Eligibility Criteria For Selection
Smart Cities Mission is a vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was launched by the Government of India in June 2015. It aims towards urban renewal and retrofitting program. The mission proposes to develop 100 cities rendering them citizen friendly as well as sustainable. Cities have to fulfil the following specifications before they are selected for the Smart City Project:
- The city should have implemented e-governance and online grievance redressal mechanism;
- All government expenditure should be made available online for public perusal;
- There should be an increase by 5% in latrine coverage under the 2011 census as per the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan;
- The city should have a good track record of paying salaries to employees;
- The track record of urban reforms and citizen participation being introduced will also be taken into consideration.
Smart City Project Till Now
Though the project started with a lot of interest being shown by the public, the flagship scheme unfortunately is now seeing a disconnect with the people. This is especially so in the bigger cities.
According to official reports, the progress made in 18 months has been impressive. Many global companies have made a beeline for India in search of business opportunities. Companies such as ZTE, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and Cisco are already working towards making the mission a success.
However, the changes made, in big cities is hardly visible because of the vast area. A state representative at the smart city workshop in Delhi said “The success of smart city projects in smaller cities such as Udaipur, Kakinada, Karnal, Gangtok, Dharamshala, Tirupati or Vellore will be far more visible in less time in comparison to works undertaken in big cities. If you build hundreds of smart toilets in Delhi or Mumbai, these will be hardly visible.”
In big cities like Delhi, Faridabad and Chennai, which is already an urban jungle with tremendous infrastructure anomalies and deficiencies, a large amount of funds will be required to correct the wrongs done and convert the area into smart city zone.
The Current List Of 30 To Make It To Smart City Slot
- Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala, topped the list this time.
- Naya Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, followed in the second position.
- Tiruppur, Tirunelveli, Tiruchirapalli and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu also made it to the list.
- Rajkit, Dahod and Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Jhansi, Allahabad and Aligarh in UP.
- Srinagar and Jammu in J&K, Patna and Muzzafarpur in Bihar, Sagar and Satna in MP.
- Amravati in Andhra Pradesh, the Union Territory of Puducherry, Karimnagar in Telangana, Karnal in Haryana, Bengaluru in Karnataka, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Pimpri Chinchwad in Maharashtra, Bilaspur in Chattisgarh, Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, Gangtok in Sikkim, and Aizwal in Mizoram.