Three Uttar Pradesh cities — Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur — figured among the nine selected in the latest round of the Central Government’s Smart Cities Mission on Friday, taking the tally of cities picked under the project to 99.
As per the scheme of things for the Smart City project, each city will get Rs 500 crore from the Government of India for implementing various projects. An equal amount, on matching basis, will be required to be contributed by the State government or urban local bodies.
The nine cities chosen in the fourth round are — Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Erode in Tamil Nadu, Bihar Sharif in Bihar, Silvasa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Diu in Daman and Diu, Kavarati in Lakshadweep and Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, stated Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri while making the announcement on Friday.
However, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Rampur and Rae Bareli of Uttar Pradesh were among cities that couldn’t be lucky enough to make the cut for Smart City tag.
According to a senior official, Shillong will be the 100th city, provided it submits its proposal to the Centre within three months.
These latest nine cities were selected from 15 cities that had submitted proposals to the Centre in next three months, the official added.
“It is heartening to note that the winning cities have improved the quality of their Smart City Proposals by 19 per cent (average) to become eligible for selection. Each city has developed a unique vision and has selected an area (ABD) which will be developed as a lighthouse, to be replicated by the city,” said Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs.
“The nine cities selected have proposed an investment of Rs 12,824 crores of which Rs 10,639 crores would be in Area-Based Development (ABD) and Rs 2,185 crores in Pan City initiatives which would be impacting 35.3 lakh persons living in these areas, he added. Smart roads, rejuvenation of water bodies, cycle tracks, walking paths, smart classrooms, skill development centres, upgradation of health facilities and Pan City Projects which include integrated command control centre and ICT based municipal services,” the Minister added.
Meanwhile, there is no universally accepted definition of a smart city as it may vary from people to people and place. The conceptualisation of Smart City, therefore, varies from city to city and country to country. It depends upon the standard or level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents.