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Smart City Mission

Sudhansu Bhushan Roy
14/04/2018 0 0

                Smart City Mission                

 

Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable.[1] The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the state governments of the respective cities.

Smart Cities Mission envisions developing an area within 100 cities in the country as model areas based on an area development plan, which is expected to have a rub-off effect on other parts of the city, and nearby cities and towns.[3]Cities will be selected based on the Smart Cities challenge, where cities will compete in a countrywide competition to obtain the benefits from this mission. As of January 2018, 99 cities have been selected to be upgraded as part of the Smart Cities Mission after they defeated other cities in the challenge.

It is a five-year program, where all of the Indian states and Union territories are participating, except West Bengal,  by nominating at least one city for the Smart Cities challenge. Financial aid will be given by the central and state governments between 2017-2022 to the cities, and the mission will start showing results from 2022 onwards.

Each city will create a corporate company, headed by a full-time CEO, to implement the Smart Cities Mission. The execution of projects may be done through joint ventures, subsidiaries, public-private partnership (PPP), turnkey contracts, etc... suitably dovetailed with revenue streams.[7] Centre and state government will provide INR 1,000 Crore funding to the company, as equal contribution of INR 500 crore each. The company has to raise additional funds from the financial market as a debt or equity.

 

The first batch of 20 cities was selected. Known as 20 Lighthouse Cities in the first round of the All India City Challenge competition, they will be provided with central assistance of â?¹200 crore (US$31 million) each during this financial year followed by â?¹100 crore  per year during the next three years.[10] The remaining money has to come from the states, urban bodies and the consortium they form with corporate entities. Also, 10 percent of budget allocation will be given to states/union territories as incentives based on achievement of reforms during the previous year.[9] The Urban Development Ministry had earlier released â?¹2 crore (US$310,000) each to mission cities for preparation of Smart City Plans. The Smart City initiative is not about the Union government providing in extra resources for urban development. The critical element is about citizens planning and interpreting smartness.[ The Smart City proposals of the winning cities offer insights into how citizens, States and ULBs have interpreted this smartness differently. "The way Bhubaneswar has looked at it is not quite the way Pune has looked at it. That is why this Mission is refreshingly different."

This was the first time, a Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) program has used a competition- based method as a means of selecting cities for funding, and used an area-based development strategy. Cities compete at the state level with other cities within the state. Then the state-level winner competes at the national level Smart city challenge. Only cities obtaining the highest marks in a particular round are part of the mission. Even during implementation, if a municipality or the mayor of any city do not show progress as committed in their city area development plan, they may be replaced by another city, or the next cache of financial support is not provided.

The list of nominations marked the first stage in the selection process of smart cities, where the state governments were asked to nominate potential cities based on state-level competition, with overall cities across India limited to 100. The total number of 100 smart cities have been distributed among the States and UTs on the basis of equitable criteria. The formula gives equal importance to both the urban population of the State/UT, and the number of statutory towns in the State/UT. Based on this formula, each State/UT, therefore, has a certain number of potential smart cities, with each State/UT having at least one.[13]

In August 2015 the Ministry of Urban Development, released the list of nominees sent in by state governments. The list comprises 98 cities, including many state capitals.

All the cities from West Bengal  (New Town KolkataBidhannagarDurgapurHaldia) have withdrawn from the Smart Cities Mission.] Mumbai,  Navi Mumbai from Maharashtra has withdrawn from the Smart Cities Mission.

 

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