Japananese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu has today said that his country was very much interested in urban development initiatives of the Narendra Modi-led government and decided to be a partner. He further said that Japan has decided to be associated with development of cities like Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities in the country.
Under the scheme that was launched in 2014 by the NDA Government soon after coming to power, around 100 cities in the country will be developed under the scheme. On September 20 last year, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had announced the last set of 27 cities for financing under the Government flagship Smart City Mission. As per guidelines, around 40 cities were announced during the financial year, as the NDA government had announced 13 cities in May. As many as 63 cities participated in three rounds of competition, Venkaiah Naidu had said.
Uttar Pradesh also has three cities in the list. Agra, Vadodara, Nagpur, Ajmer, Amritsar, Gwalior, Thane and Thanjavur are some of the other cities that have been named to be developed as smart cities. The 27 cities will require investment of Rs 66,883 crore. In January, the Centre had announced a list of 20 cities forfunding to be developed as smart cities, which would have facilities like proper water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, IT connectivity and e-governance, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, among others.
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As per the plan, every city will receive Centr’s assistance of Rs 200 crore in the first year and Rs 100 crore over the three subsequent financial years. State governments and respective urban local bodies will also match the Centre’s contribution. The Government plans to transform about 100 cities by 2019-20, with the Centre providing financial support of Rs 48,000 crore over five years.