98 cities finalized for Indian smart city project

M. Venkaiah Naidu on smart city projects

In a move aimed at enhancing the quality of urban life, the government on Thursday unveiled a list of 98 cities in the country for the Smart City Mission.

The central government proposes to give financial support to the extent of Rs 48,000 crore to these cities over the next five years, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said here.

Naidu said a population of 13 crore across these cities will be covered under the initiative.

“There are 13 cities from Uttar Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, 10 from Maharashtra, seven from Madhya Pradesh and three each from Bihar and Andhra Pradesh in the list,” Naidu told the media here.

“Smart cities need smart people. We need people’s cooperation to move forward in our mission. Making them smart will make them engines of economic growth besides giving decent life to the citizens,” he added.

The cities include 24 capitals of states and union territories.

Some of the capital cities that were not nominated include Itanagar, Patna, Shimla, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

The minister said the prime motive of the initiative was to enhance urban life. “The mission is very practical and realistic.”

Anil Chaudhry, country president and managing director of Schneider Electric India, said: “Integrated solutions to create an all-pervasive ‘smartness’ in the fields of security, surveillance, transport and mobility, water management, building management and energy efficiency will change the face of India’s municipal and social infrastructure.”

“We are quite upbeat that the Rs 3 lakh crore allocated by the Government for this mission will induce active participation from all stakeholders,” Chaudhry said.

Welcoming the centre’s plans for 100 Smart Cities project, Mumbai-based architect and urban planner Chandrashekhar Prabhu said the country actually needs 300 Smart Cities.

“But merely giving some money will not make these cities ‘smart’ since their existing problems may not be resolved so easily. The need is to take up urban development project from scratch, plan and design a Smart City, build it with all the required infrastructure and amenities that will voluntarily attract people to go and live there,” Prabhu pointed out.

In Maharashtra, the 10 nominated Smart cities are Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Kalyan-Dombivali, Pune, Aurangabad, Solapur, Nagpur and Amravati.

Chandigarh, a union territory that is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana and is the country’s only planned city, has also made it to the list.

“It is a moment of pride as the collective efforts of the Chandigarh administration and citizens have paid off. The selection was done through intra-city competition which evaluated the various cities on parameters such as service levels, financial and institutional capacity, past track record and reforms,” a Chandigarh administration spokesman said.

From the region (comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh), seven cities have made it to the list. Besides Chandigarh, these are Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar (in Punjab), Karnal and Faridabad (in Haryana) and Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh).

Each Smart City would get a central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years.

The list of 98 Smart cities released by the government are Port Blair, Vishakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kakinada, Pasighat, Guwahati, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Biharsharif, Chandigarh, Raipur, Bilaspur, Diu, Silvassa, NDMC, Panaji, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Dahod, Karnal, Faridabad, Dharamsala, Ranchi, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Shivamogga, Hubballi-Dharwad, Tumakuru, Davanegere, Kochi, Kavaratti, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Sagar, Satna, Ujjain, Navi Mumbai, Nasik, Thane, Greater Mumbai, Amaravati, Solapur, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombivalli, Aurangabad, Pune, Imphal, Shillong, Aizawl, Kohima, Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Oulgaret, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Namchi, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Thanjavur, Tiruppur, Salem, Vellore, Coimbatore, Madurai, Erode, Thoothukudi, Chennai, Greater Hyderabad, Greater Warangal, Agartala, Moradabad, Aligarh, Shaharanpur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, Rampur, Dehradun, New Town Kolkata, Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia.

Two other cities will be named later.

Image caption: Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs, M. Venkaiah Naidu holding a press conference to announce the list of Smart City Nominees, in New Delhi on August 27, 2015. The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Ananth Kumar and the Director General (M&C), Press Information Bureau, A.P. Frank Noronha are also seen.