Government Includes 27 More Cities In The Next Phase Of Smart City Project
The central government on Tuesday cleared the names of 27 new cities which will be included in the second phase of the smart cities mission, M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Development said.
With this, the Centre has selected 60 cities for funding under this project.
Popular destinations for pilgrims and tourists were in focus in the third round of selection.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, Ujjain, Tirupathi, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Ajmer and Thanjavur are among the cities that were selected. Amritsar is also part of the list which was picked from among 63 contenders.
An investment of Rs 66,883 crore has been proposed for the 27 new additions, which includes Rs 42,524 crore for ‘area based development’ and Rs 11,379 crore for technology advancements across the city, Naidu said. The total investment proposed for the 60 cities selected has now gone up to Rs 1,44,742 crore, he added.
Among the states, Maharashtra has the most number of cities selected at 5. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have 4 each, while there are 3 from Uttar Pradesh and 2 each from Punjab and Rajasthan. Cities from two states - Nagaland and Sikkim - have made it to the list for the first time.
Five states and four union territories are still excluded from the list.
According to Naidu, the project is running ahead of schedule and that the next round of selection for the remaining 40 cities will begin in January 2017.
The government had announced a list of 20 cities in January, which would be developed as smart cities. Smart cities have been envisaged by Prime Minister Modi to be cities of the future with a high standard of infrastructure, good quality of living, assured facilities and smart solutions.
The Smart City Mission Plan aims to cover 100 cities between 2016 and 2020.
The cities which have been selected are allocated Rs 200 crore in the first year, followed by Rs 100 crore during the subsequent three years. Of the prescribed amount, states will receive Rs 194 crore in the first year and Rs 98 crore each in the next three years as the Ministry of Urban Development will deduct administrative and operational expenses.