NDMC area, 19 cities to go smart

The NDMC area of Delhi and Punjab’s Ludhiana have made it to the first batch of 20 cities to be developed under smart city programme with an investment of over Rs 50,000 crore in the next five years.

Bhubaneswar emerged on top of the list that included Belagavi, Davangere, Chennai, Pune and Ahmedabad. While Delhi is spread over 1,484 sq km, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) zone covers 3 per cent or 42.7 sq km of that area identified as smart city.

Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced the list of 20 cities (see box) on Wednesday that will be developed with world class infrastructure and modern facilities under the NDA government’s ambitious project.

The cities in the first list have made it to the top of the competition based on implementation framework, including feasibility and cost-effectiveness, citizen participation, vision and goals.

Facilities include assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation.

Of the total 97 cities or towns proposed for the programme by different state governments, 20 have been selected in the city-level competition.

Naidu also said the government is thinking of giving the remaining 23 top-ranking cities an opportunity to upgrade their proposals in a fast-track round of competition. They will be given time till April 15 this year to submit their upgraded proposals for the next round of competition, he said.

Congratulating the winners of the competition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I wish the cities the very best as they move forward with implementation and transform urban India.”
Naidu said a total investment of Rs 50,802 crore has been proposed in the selected cities over the five-year period. Of this, Rs 38,693 crore will be spent on area development. Selected cities will get Rs 500 crore each in next five years of which Rs 200 crore each will be released this financial year.

The cities have to set up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the project and the funds will be released to the SPV only. The states also have to sanction matching grants to the beneficiary urban local bodies.

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