The Ministry of Urban Development on Tuesday announced as many as 13 winners of the 'fast track competition’ under the smart cities mission.
The cities are Lucknow, Warangal, Dharmashala, Chandigarh, Raipur, New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur, Panaji, Port Blair, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala and Faridabad.
"As many as 9 out of these 13 cities scored 25 per cent more over their smart city proposal submitted previously," M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Urban Development Minister, said.
In January this year, the top 20 winning cities under the first round were announced which covered only 12 states and union territories. The government had then decided to conduct a ‘fast track competition’ to offer an opportunity to the highest ranked city in each of the unrepresented 23 states and UTs.
These cities were chosen from the 23 that failed to get representation in the first round of a competition held in January, and participated in the “fast-track competition.” The results were announced by Venkaiah Naidu.
Other cities on the list are Chandigarh, Raipur (Chhattisgarh), New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur (Bihar), Panaji (Goa), Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Imphal (Manipur), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Faridabad (Haryana). “The 13 cities selected in the competition have proposed a total investment of Rs. 30,229 crore. With this, the investment proposed by 33 cities [20 cities made the cut in January] under the smart city plans is now Rs. 80,789 crore,” Venkaiah Naidu said.
Seven cities — Patna (Bihar), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Naya Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) — that were not among the 100 shortlisted for the competition will be able to participate in the next round, the Minister added.
Of the 13 cities that qualified for the project, four are from BJP-ruled States (Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand and Haryana) while two are from Congress-governed States (Himachal Pradesh and Manipur). Lucknow is in Samajwadi Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh, while Bhagalpur is in Bihar, where the JD(U), the RJD and the Congress are ruling coalition partners. Warangal is in Telangana, which is ruled by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.Apart from these, The Union Territories of Chandigarh and Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands were also among the winners of this round.
Ten cities that failed to make the cut are: Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Shillong (Meghalaya), Namchi (Sikkim), Diu (Daman & Diu), Oulgaret (Puducherry), Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Kohima (Nagaland), Aizawl (Mizoram), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep) and Dehradun (Uttarakhand). They will be able to participate in the next round with other cities.
Meanwhile, for the regular second round of the competition, the remaining 97 cities have to submit revised smart city plans by June end this year. Those of the 23 cities included in the fast track competition which failed to be selected can also join this second round of competition.
Operated as a centrally sponsored scheme, the Centre has proposed a financial support of Rs.48,000 crore over five years, i.e. on an average Rs.100 crore per city per year. States have to match this amount.
The project intends to promote adoption of smart solutions to enhance the quality of urban life and provide a clean and sustainable environment.
Source: The Hindu Business Line