Smart Cities' contours to be visible mid-year: Minister

Smart Cities' contours to be visible mid-year: Minister

Smart Cities' contours to be visible mid-year: Minister

Amid criticism over poor progress of smart cities project, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that physical contours of the project will be seen in June this year.

Addressing a 'Smart Cities Summit 2018', organised by industry body FICCI, he said under the government's 'Smart Cities Mission', 3,000 projects worth Rs 1.4 lakh crore in 90 cities were under implementation and over Rs 1 lakh crore worth of projects were being readied for tendering.

"By June this year you will begin to see the physical contours of the processes involved in setting up smart cities such as surveillance systems, improved communications, citizens' feedback management systems, ease of living for the poor, the aged and differently abled people," he said.

With total 600 million people expected to move to urban areas by 2030, the biggest challenges before the government will be mitigating the impact of carbon emissions in cities, deployment of environmentally-friendly technologies, cleanliness and sanitation, the minister said.

The Smart Cities project is running at a very slow pace with only 5.2 % of the total identified projects being completed in the last two years.

Under the scheme, 90 cities have so far been identified through three rounds of competition for implementing various projects. A total investment of Rs 1.91 lakh crore has been proposed by these 90 cities.

As per the mission statement and guidelines, the duration of the mission is five years, from 2015-16 to 2019-20 and each city will get Rs 500 crore as central assistance for implementing various projects.

About 72 % of the identified projects are still at the stage of preparation of detailed project report, said an official in the Ministry.

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