Smart Cities Mission: Names of 20 cities to be announced today

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 The Union ministry for urban development will announce today the names of 20 cities to be selected in the first round of the Smart Cities Mission.

In December last year, 97 selected cities had submitted their plans to the ministry and were given Rs.2 crore each to prepare city-level smart city plans with the assistance of technical agencies and other organizations.

Though there were 100 cities in the mission, Telangana has sought time to replace Hyderabad with another city and the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh are yet to select one city each.

Emphasizing the need for sustainable urban development, minister for urban development M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said in Delhi: “Cities should be water-positive through water harvesting, recycling and reuse of water, energy-positive with each household resorting to renewable sources of energy and community-positive facilitating interactive neighborhoods.”

The selected cities have been evaluated on the basis of six criteria, including credibility of implementation, city vision and strategy, and economic and environmental impacts of the plan. In the next two years, 40 cities will be selected each year.

The central government will provide Rs.200 crore in the first year to each selected city and Rs.100 crore each every subsequent year. Plans will be implemented by a special purpose vehicle set up for each city.

The Smart Cities Mission, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was launched in June 2015 with the government releasing the guidelines and mission statement for the 100 smart cities project. The mission, a flagship programme of the National Democratic Alliance government, has been allotted a budget of Rs.48,000 crore for five years.