Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs announced the Round 4 winning cities of National Smart Cities Challenge. The minister informed that Silvassa from Dadar & Nagar Haveli has topped the list of winning cities in this round of competition. Other winning cities are: Erode, Tamil Nadu; Diu, Daman & Diu; Biharsharif, Bihar; Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh; Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh; Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh; Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh and, Kavaratti, Lakshwadeep

The minister said that, “It is heartening to note that the winning cities have improved the quality of their smart city proposals by 19% (average) to become eligible for selection. Each city has developed a unique vision and has selected an area (ABD) which will be developed as a lighthouse, to be replicated by the city. The 9 cities selected have proposed an investment of Rs 12,824 crores of which Rs 10,639 crores would be in Area Based Development (ABD) and Rs 2,185 crores in Pan City initiatives which would be impacting 35.3 lakh persons living in these areas, he added. Smart roads, rejuvenation of water bodies, cycle tracks, walking paths, smart classrooms, skill development centres,upgradation of health facilities and pan city projects which include integrated command control centre and ICT based municipal services.”

These 9 cities have approximately 409 projects. The funding sources for these projects is proposed to be with; SCM – with contribution from State and Centre 61.25%, Convergence 24.19%, PPP 12.90%, Own sources 1.57%, and Other sources 0.09%. With today’s announcement 99 cities have been selected. Previously, 20 cities were selected in January 201613 cities in May 2016, 27 cities in September 2016 and 30 cities in June 2017. With the selection of these nine cities, the total proposed investment in the 99 Smart City Mission would Rs 2,03,979 crores.

Providing details of the progress made in smart cities,  Puri informed that “so far 85 out of 90 cities already selected have incorporated their SPVs and 61 cities have procured PMCs; another 8 cities are in various stages of hiring their PMCs. With more and more cities now equipped with a team of consultants and administrative teams, we can expect the progress in the start of work in projects to grow exponentially, over the next six months. Smart City Mission is setting a new benchmark in terms of project implementation. In duration of 2 years, which is a small period in terms of urban development life-cycle, the mission is picking up momentum. There has been more than 350% increase in the value of ‘completed projects’ and 230% increase in ‘work started projects’ over the last six months. Smart cities are implementing state of the art innovative ideas in their projects. These are bringing about unprecedented improvement in the quality of life of people”. Some examples:-

Smart City Centers based on advanced technologies

Smart city centres have become operational in four cities like Pune, Surat, Vadodara & Kakinada and work is in progress in another 18 cities. Tenders to develop such Smart City centers have been issued in 11 more cities. In Rajkot for instance, after deployment of surveillance system, a part the smart city centre, crime-incidents have reduced by 17%, from 3,068 in 2016 to 2,554 in 2017; the city administration was able to completed 906 rallies/public meetings/VVIP movements during election period last year without a single incident of violence or disruption. Integrated traffic management has increased the traffic speeds and reduced traffic congestions. Surely, it has helped in cleaner air for people to breathe.

Street redesign projects have visual impact with provisions for cycle tracks and footpaths, promoting non-motorized transport. While 32 cities have issued tenders, and work has begun in 17 of them. For example, in Pune Street redesign project, in an 8 km stretch a pilot section of 1.5 kms has being developed has improved accessibility for elders, dedicated spaces for pedestrians & bicycle users, and beautification of the space by creating sitting zones and installation of public art with CSR funds has been very well received by citizens.

Similarly, for smart reuse and wastewater projects 33 cities have issued tenders, and work has begun in 16 of them.

In order to promote renewable energy usage in our cities, projects of about 250 MW for providing solar projects on rooftops of government buildings are already installed. Till date, 44 cities have issued tenders, and work has begun in 38 cities. Most of these cities have completed their projects.

As on January 17, 2018 there are 2,948 projects worth Rs. 1,38,730 crore are in various stages of implementation. 189 projects worth Rs. 2,237 crore have been completed, and implementation is underway for 495 projects with a cost of Rs. 18,616 crore; furthers tenders have been floated for 277 projects with a cost of Rs.15,885 crore; while 1,987 projects worth Rs.1,01,992 crore are at DPR stage.

Feature pic is representational

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