Smart Cities Mission: Big infrastructure boost in North East! The capital city of Meghalaya, Shillong has been selected as the 100th city to be transformed as a smart city under Modi government’s Smart Cities Mission. According to the Housing and Urban Affairs ministry, the final slot for the Smart Cities Mission was kept on hold for Shillong, as the city could not submit its proposal due to state elections on February 27. Recently, an official release stated that so far, 99 smart cities had been identified in four rounds of competition and with this, selection of 100 cities has been completed under the government’s Smart Cities Mission.
For the Smart Cities Mission, in the year 2016, 20 cities were selected in the month of January, 13 cities were selected in the month of May, 27 cities were selected in the month of September. Last year, 30 cities were selected in the month of June and in the month of January, this year, 9 cities were selected. According to the Housing and Urban Affairs ministry, with the identification of Shillong as the 100th smart city, the total proposed investment in the finally selected 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission would be Rs 2,05,018 crores.
Under the Smart Cities Mission, the central government provides Rs 500 crore to each city with the state as well as urban local body expected to match the amount. In the month of April, the Meghalaya state government sought a 90:10 funding for Shillong, as per which 90 per cent is to be provided by the central government and the rest 10 per cent is to be provided by the state government. However, according to an IE report, the proposal was turned down by the Housing and Urban Affairs ministry and the capital city was only selected after the state government agreed to the 50:50 funding.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Smart Cities Mission on June 25, 2015. Under the Smart Cities Mission, the 100 selected cities across the nation would take take up various projects such as building ‘smart’ roads, building cycle tracks, walking paths, smart classrooms, skill development centres, rejuvenation of water bodies, upgradation of health facilities as well as pan-city projects like integrated command control centre.