The Centre on Thursday unveiled the names of first 20 smart cities, selected via a competition, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.
These cities, to come up in areas earmarked within or on the periphery of exiting cities, would get financial assistance from the Centre to create new urban facilities and also fix problems ranging from shoddy sewage treatment to power outages and snarled traffic.
The Centre will give each city Rs 500 crore over five years under the Modi government’s smart city mission. The Centre had pledged to spend Rs 48,000 crore in five years to elevate 100 localities to the status of smart cities.
“The 20 winning cities and towns have proposed a total investment of Rs 50,802 crore over five years with all the cities proposing public-private partnership as a major vehicle of resource mobilisation,” an official statement said. A total area of 26,735 acres has been identified by these cities for making them smart through necessary interventions.
Besides Bhubaneswar, which topped the competition, other winners in the first round include New Delhi; three cities from Madhya Pradesh; two each from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, as well as one each from Kerala, Assam and Punjab.
Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said 15.2 million citizens participated in shaping smart city plans of 97 cities and towns in the first round of competition. Smart city aspirants were selected through a competition intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission objectives. More than 2.5 million people gave their suggestions through an interactive website, mygov.in, on which urban problems should be solved first.
The smart city mission was announced the Modi government in 2014 to provide basic urban services, such as potable water, sewage and waste management, electricity and housing, as well as broadband facilities.
Naidu said 23 states and union territories that could not make to the list in the first round would be given an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast-track competition’ for inclusion in the mission.