Its been little over a month, since the Urban Development Minister of India announced the Smart Cities Challenge after releasing the list of 98 shortlisted smart cities on 27 August, 2015.
The Centre in its mission vision and guidelines, has given a free hand to city planners to formulate its own concept, vision, mission and plan for a 'Smart City' in line with its local content, resources and levels of ambition, while keeping in mind some the key essentials – viz retrofitting, redevelopment, green development and pan-city initiative.
Subsequently, the government had released a list of region-wise consulting firms for 'Preparation of Proposal for Assisting Cities to Participate in the Smart City Challenge'.
The selected cities had to select one or more consultants from the empaneled list of consultants, based on the presentation and finance part.
According to a news report in The Hindu, the Urban development ministry has state via a statement that, as many as 88 smart cities so far have identified consulting firms for preparation their respective detailed Smart City Proposal, while the remaining 10 cities are expected to finalise by this weekend or so.
The selected consulting firms will prepare smart city proposals, including area development plans and financing plans, under the supervision of urban local bodies and state governments. The last date for the submission of the proposals is 15 December, 2015.
"CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions in association with Pri Move Infrastructure Development Consultants Private and Probity Soft Private have bagged the contract for six cities followed by Jones Lang La Salle Property Consultants India in association with Townland Consultants and Tata Consulting Engineers, ICRA Management Consulting in association with NJS Engineers India and the All India Institute of Local Self-Government for five cities each, " the report stated.
The top companies include KPMG for NDMC, NK Buildcon for Varanasi, Lea Associates for Tirupati, ICRA for Ajmer, Data World for Lucknow, Alia Consulting for Greater Mumbai, Jones Lang La Salle for Amritsar, and Ecorys Nederland BV for Bhagalpur.
Meanwhile, US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has selected Emerging Markets Infrastructure, in cooperation with the Smart Cities Council, Smart Cities Council India, 3 E Consulting, Cimperium and Studio POD to provide technical services supporting the agency’s role for the smart city development in three Indian states.
The plans submitted by the consultants, will subsequently be evaluated by the government, and based on the merit of which the Centre will provide funding for 20 smart cities (total 60 cities) per financial year for the next five years for implementing the proposals.