28 Jan 2016 17:36 IST

Centre announces 20 smart cities

Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi among cities named in first phase of Centre's flagship mission

The Centre on Thursday announced the list of cities which have bagged the coveted ‘smart city tag’ under the government’s flagship mission.

The 20 cities are: Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Dhavangiri, Indore, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal.

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“The results reveal the unrecognised strength of our federal system,” Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said at a press conference here.

Interestingly, only five of these 20 cities are capitals of states.

As many as 97 cities were in the race to secure funding in the first round of the smart cities challenge. The three teams constituted by the Centre to scrutinise the proposals submitted by the cities had to complete the evaluation and ranking process by January 16.

Parameters

The proposals have been judged on credibility of implementation, city vision and strategy, economic and environmental impacts, cost effectiveness, innovation and scalability and processes followed, including citizen implementation.

While the Centre had announced the ‘100 smart cities challenge’, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are yet to nominate one city each under their allotted quotas, and Telangana wants to replace Hyderabad with another city, leaving the race open for 97 cities.

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The Centre will provide ₹200 crore per city in the first year, followed by ₹100 crore each year for the next three years to as many as 20 ‘top’ cities. The remaining cities will be asked to address deficiencies before participating in the second and third rounds of the challenge.

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be created for each smart city, wherein the State/UT and urban local body will have 50:50 equity.

The Cabinet had approved an outlay of ₹48,000 crore for the Smart Cities Mission in April last year.

The project intends to promote adoption of smart solutions to enhance the quality of urban life and provide a clean and sustainable environment.

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