The government today said 10 new cities are being built under its Smart Cities project, which envisages to develop 100 cities across the country.
Minister of State for Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri said he was confident that each of these cities will complete projects identified for them in five years.
“About 90 of them are brown field projects. In other words, the existing cities where there are already vast urban structures, they are being retro-fitted and retro-developed, but. But 10 per cent of them are greenfield projects, for instance Naya Raipur,” he informed the Rajya Sabha. Replying to supplementaries, he said, these 100 Smart Cities were selected in four instalments, starting in January 2016, and the 100th city was selected in June this year. Around 2.5 million citizens participated in selecting them.
The scheme envisages that the Centre contributes Rs 500 crores in respect of each of these cities, he said. There will be a matching contribution from each of the state governments and the urban local bodies and the remaining resources would be raised through convergence, through private-public partnerships, from loans and other sources, he said. Puri said the amount of expenditure that had been incurred as a result of the contracting was about Rs 8,000 crores when he joined the ministry.
“Presently, it is about Rs 30,000 crores and by December 2018, it will be about Rs 50,000 crores. So, this is a process which is ongoing. I think, in respect of the cities which were in the first category, that is, the cities which were allocated in January, 2016, 37 per cent of the expenditure would have been incurred,” he said. Puri said the Smart Cities Project envisages a total expenditure outlay of Rs 2,05,800 crores, and this expenditure will be met in stages within five years, in respect of each city from the date of allocation. The minister assured the House that the rate of implementation of the schemes, going by projects anywhere in the world, considering that it has been allocated funds, is extremely fast. “I have absolute confidence that all the hundred smart cities will be completed within five years from the date of commencement in respect of each of them,” he said.