New Delhi: In a moment of pride for Odisha, the state capital Bhubaneswar has topped the Smart City list as Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday, has announced 20 city names who are selected for the Smart City project.
At a press conference in the NCT, Naidu has made the announcement.
The cities who are made into the illustrious list, are Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Surat (Gujarat), Kochi (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujrat), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Solapur (Maharashtra), Davangere (Karnataka), Indore (Mandhya Pradesh), New Delhi Municipal Council (Delhi), Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Belgaum (Karnataka), Udaipur (Rajasthan), Guwahati (Assam), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ludhiana (Punjab) and Bhopal (madhya Pradesh).
“The idea of smart cities has aroused an unprecedented enthusiasm ever since it was first mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014,” said Naidu, adding “Nobody can stop an idea whose time has come. This applies more to the launch of Smart City Mission in our country.”
Talking over the historic step, the Union minister said, “Today marks a historic landmark in the annals of urban development in our country as we get to know the first batch of smart cities.”
“This announcement marks a paradigm shift in our approach to urban development in the country,” he added.
Explaining the Smart City qualification criteria, Naidu said, “Smart City Challenge required cities to come up with integrated plans, proposals, so that there is maximum analysis, planning. Smart City plans will demonstrate how integrated planning and smart technologies can deliver better quality of life. The Smart City Challenge Competition was as rigorous and demanding as the civil services competition conducted by UPSC.”
Adding to it, he further said, “Citizen participation has been mandatory for preparation of smart city plans for which a weightage of 16 percent was given. A total of 15.20 million (1.52 crore) citizens have participated in the preparation of smart city plans at various stages.”
“@mygovindia enlisted an unprecedented response from citizens with 2.50 million (25 lakhs) sharing their views. ‘Bottom up’ approach has been the key planning principle under Smart City Mission. The results of the competition revealed the unrecognized strength of the federal structure in our country,” he further said.
Speaking over the selection, the minister said, “The Smart City Plans were prepared by the urban local bodies and the states and there was practically no role for urban development ministry. A total investment of Rs 50,802 crore has been proposed in the selected smart cities and towns during the five year period and in terms of population, these 20 cities account for 3.54 crore people.”