Modi’s constituency Varanasi makes it to 3rd Smart City list including 27 new cities, Amritsar tops the list

varanasiBy: Arpit Gupta

The Ministry of Urban Development released the third list of smart cities today. The new list accommodates 27 cities from 12 states. The Golden Temple city of Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities announced by the Union Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu.

Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that made to the third list of smart cities are Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi. With this the number of cities selected under Smart City Mission for financing implementation of smart city plans has gone up to 60.

Naidu told that 27 out of the 63 participating cities qualified for this financial year. The cities were put through three rounds of tough competition where they were evaluated on a variety of factors.

Naidu said “The willingness and enthusiasm among cities to participate in more than one round of competition is a clear evidence of the urban renaissance set in motion. Competition bases selection has made the cities rediscover themselves as they are undertaking a thorough assessment of gaps in the present levels of infrastructure and service delivery and come out with comprehensive, credible and actionable plans for area based development and technology based Pan-city solutions.”

smart-cityThe 27 smart cities announced today are from 12 States including 5 from Maharashtra, 4 each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, 3 from Uttar Pradesh and 2 each from Punjab and Rajasthan. Nagaland and Sikkim have made it to the smart city list for the first time.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi along with Kanpur and Agra are among the 27 cities from Uttar Pradesh to be developed as smart cities, under the NDA government’s ambitious smart city mission.

Two other cities from Punjab, Amritsar and Ludhiana, also made it to the third list announced by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

While no city from West Bengal and Bihar found mention in the third list, BJP ruled states are the biggest beneficiaries.

Of the 27, four cities Thane, Nashik, Nagpur, Kalyan Dombivali and Aurangabad are from Maharashtra, another four cities Hubbali-Dharwad, Managaluru, Shivamogga and Tumkaru are from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu also got four cities, Madurai, Salem, Thanjavur and Vellore.

Two cities Gwalior and Ujjain from Madhya Pradesh, Kota and Ajmer from Rajasthan also made it to the third list.

From Gujarat, Vadodara is the lone city that made the cut. Similarly, Rourkela from Odisha, Tirupati from Andhra Pradesh, Namchi from Sikkim and Kohima from Nagaland also made it to the third list.

India plans to have 100 such cities by 2022. Sixty have been chosen, including 20 in January and 13 in May, the remaining will be picked by 2018. Meant to change the way urban India lives, smart cities will enjoy uninterrupted power and water supplies, internet connectivity, e-governance along with quality infrastructure.

The total investment in 27 cities that will be developed as smart is envisaged at about Rs 66,883 crore.

Smart cities are picked though a two-stage process. In the first stage, a state shortlists potential cities and send the names to the Centre. In the second round, these nominated cities compete with each other.

jalandharThe Centre will give Rs 48,000 crore for five years for the programme. Each city will get Rs 100 crore per year. A matching fund of Rs 48,000 crore will have to be contributed by states from their internal resources/ market borrowing and through private sector.

With today’s announcement, implementation of smart city plans is now spread over 27 States and UTs, said Shri Venkaiah Naidu. As many as 9 States/UTs still to enter implementation phase are; Uttarakhand, J & K, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra, Nagar & Haveli.

Stating that Smart City Mission is running ahead of schedule, Venkaiah Naidu informed that the next round of competition to select the remaining 40 cities would begin in January next year.

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