Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi has been selected to be developed as a smart city. Two more Uttar Pradesh cities namely Agra and Kanpur also made it to the final list of 27 cities to be developed as smart cities.
Earlier this year in January, the government had announced a list of 20 cities for partial funding to be developed as smart cities, which would have facilities such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity and e-governance, among others.
The latest declaration was made on Tuesday by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, as he announced the next set of 27 cities for financing under the Government flagship Smart City Mission.
While poll-bound Uttar Pradesh has three cities in the list, the holy city of Varanasi ranked 23rd among 27 cities.
From Punjab, Amritsar and Ludhiana has also made it to the list with Amritsar topping the smart cities competition.Apart from them Ajmer, Aurangabad, Gwalior, Hubbali dharwas, Jalandhar, Kalyan dombivali, Kohima, Kota, Madurai, Mangaluru, Nagpur, Namchi, Nashi, Rourkela, Salem, Shivamogga, Thane, Thanjavur, Tirupati, Tumakuru, Ujjain, Vadodara and Vellore were also selected. The list was announced by Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
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.
Smart cities are picked through 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.
The central government will provide Rs 48,000 crore for five years for the programme. Each city will get Rs 100 crore annually. 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.