The government on Friday announced the names of nine more cities that will receive the Centre’s funds under the Smart Cities Mission. These are Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Erode (Tamil Nadu), Bihar Sharif (Bihar), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Diu (Daman and Diu), Moradabad, Bareilly and Saharanpur (all Uttar Pradesh). This takes the total number of smart cities to 99. “It is heartening to note that the winning cities have improved the quality of their Smart City Proposals by 19% (average) to become eligible for selection. Each city has developed a unique vision and has selected an Area Based Development (ABD) which will be developed as a lighthouse, to be replicated by the city,” minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said. The minister said that the cities selected will have approximately 409 projects with a proposed investment of Rs 12,824 crores of which Rs 10,639 crores would be in Area Based Development (ABD) and Rs 2,185 crores in Pan City initiatives, which will impact 35.3 lakh people living in these areas. Smart roads, rejuvenation of water bodies, cycle tracks, walking paths, smart classrooms, skill development centres, upgradation of health facilities and Pan City Projects, which include integrated command control centre, and ICT- based municipal services are the main projects the cities will focus on.
The total investments in in the 99 Smart Cities Mission cities are envisaged to be Rs 2,03,979 crore. With a per city allocation of Rs 100 crore for each of the five years of the mission period, the central assistance to the mission is around Rs 50,000 crore. Launched on June 25, 2015, cities under the Smart City Mission will be developed to have basic infrastructure such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation. The ministry will also assess liveability standards of 116 cities that include smart cities identified and those announced on Friday and few other cities with a population of over 1 million.