13 more names in smart cities list spell huge business opportunity

131smart-city-india_1453961630The government has released the second list of cities to be developed into smart cities as part of the Smart Cities Mission of the Narendra Modi Government. This also spells huge business opportunities for various segments, including IT.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu released the list containing names of 13 cities which have been chosen following a fast-track competition.

Smart cities will be developed on the guidelines of urban India which includes providing quality infrastructure, uninterrupted power and water supplies along with facilitating internet connectivity and e-governance.

Releasing the list, Naidu said, “The 13 cities selected in the competition have proposed a total investment of Rs. 30,229 crore. With this, the investment proposed by 33 cities [20 cities made the cut in January under the smart city plans is now Rs. 80,789 crore.”

Given the size of proposed investment, experts feel, various business houses can look forward to never-before opportunity in the 33 smart cities. The smart city announcements are specially significant for those into infrastructure, networking and smart city-relevant technology players.

According to an established IT player, “The implementation of smart city plans will make the IT sector come up with its best, thus giving a boost to the sector. I would say, the best is yet to come.”

The cities on the shortlist are:

  1. Lucknow (UP)
  2. New Town in Kolkata (WB)
  3. Bhagalpur (Bihar)
  4. Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh)
  5. Chandigarh (Punjab)
  6. Faridabad (Haryana)
  7. Raipur (Chhattisgarh)
  8. Ranchi (Jharkhand)
  9. Warangal (Telangana)
  10. Agartala (Tripura)
  11. Imphal (Manipur)
  12. Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar Island)
  13. Panaji (Goa)

In January this year, the government had declared the names of 20 smart cities. The NDA government then had received a lot of flak for leaving out cities from non-NDA states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

Seven cities — Patna (Bihar), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Naya Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) — that were not among the 100 shortlisted for the competition will be able to participate in the next round, the Minister added.

Of the 13 cities that qualified for the project, four are from BJP-ruled States (Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand and Haryana) while two are from Congress-governed States (Himachal Pradesh and Manipur). Lucknow is in Samajwadi Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh, while Bhagalpur is in Bihar, where the JD(U), the RJD and the Congress are ruling coalition partners. Warangal is in Telangana, which is ruled by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.Apart from these, The Union Territories of Chandigarh and Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands were also among the winners of this round.

Ten cities that failed to make the cut are: Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Shillong (Meghalaya), Namchi (Sikkim), Diu (Daman & Diu), Oulgaret (Puducherry), Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Kohima (Nagaland), Aizawl (Mizoram), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep) and Dehradun (Uttarakhand). They will be able to participate in the next round with other cities.

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