New Delhi :
Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today announced the top 13 smart cities under the smart cities mission of Modi led government. In a bid to qualify, states and local administrations had to provide "smart answers" to a template with 43 questions and more than 2.5 million citizens weighed in on which urban problems needed to be solved first. The cities which did not make it in the first round were asked to focus on deficiencies and prepare for a fast-track screening for round 2 of announcements. The contest for the remaining cities will begin in September this year.
1. What is a smart city?
A smart city has different connotation in India and there is no one way of defining it. We can say smart cities are those that have internet connectivity, e-governance along with quality infrastructure such as waste management and efficient public transport.
2. What is government’s smart cities mission all about?
Government’s smart cities mission aims to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. The 20 cities selected in January were Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davangere, Indore, the New Delhi area, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal.
Last year, a list of 97 cities submitted by states was picked up during a competition. The choices were judged on infrastructure, service levels, and track record. It is the first time, a MoUD programme used competition method to select cities for funding and using a strategy of area-based development.
3. Smart cities that top the chart!
Lucknow, Warangal, Dharamshala, Chandigarh, Raipur, New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur, Panaji, Port Blair, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala and Faridabad.
4. Financial assistance to the smart cities
While 20 smart cities were selected during 2015-16 as per guidelines, another 40 would be selected during 2016-17 and the remaining 40 during the next financial year. Each city selected in different rounds of competition will be given central assistance of Rs. 200 crore in the first year and Rs. 100 crore each during the subsequent three financial years. State governments and respective urban local bodies will also provide the same amount. PM Modi had described smart cities as those with "very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city".
The central government has said it plans to create 100 new smart cities by 2022.