Status of development of smart cities in India

Currently, projects worth Rs 50,000 crore have been tendered, of which Rs 17,036 crore is earmarked for 73 affordable housing projects.

Published: 20th May 2019 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2019 10:22 AM   |  A+A-

Smart City

For representational purposes for Smart City (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

Initiated in 2015 by the Narendra Modi government, the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) is finally progressing with respect to urban renewal, transport projects, and a retrofitting project aimed at ‘smartening up’ of 100 cities in India. 

According to the British Standards Institute (BSI), a smart city is defined as “effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens”.  

To make the cities sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous with improved quality of life through the use of digital technology, an average of Rs 100 crore annually for five years is to be given to each of the cities, with an equal contribution to be made from the state government and the urban local body combined. The Mission is being carried out through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), registered under the Companies Act. 

There was not much progress made in the first two years, except selection of cities and the preparation of DPR (detailed project report). In 2017, only seven per cent of the budget allocated was actually spent. 

It is noteworthy to mention that a total investment of Rs 2,03,9799 crore is to be made in 99 cities by 92 SPVs with an appointment of 69 project management consultants. Currently, projects worth Rs 50,000 crore have been tendered, of which Rs 17,036 crore is earmarked for 73 affordable housing projects. As many as 220 projects worth Rs 3,113 crore are done. At present, 98 projects worth Rs 6,000 crore are being executed via Public Private Partnerships. 

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The SCM is made operational for each city by establishing a SPV headed by a CEO, who is the link among the Centre, the state and the municipal organisations, as well as other private and public stakeholders in the plan. It may be mentioned that the money allocated in 2017-18 is less than 2016-17, falling from Rs 4,494 crore to 3,995 crore. In fact, the budget for 2018-19 is the highest so far as compared to the previous years, rising significantly to Rs 6,169 crore. The Ministry of Urban Development has allocated the third highest share to the Mission — 14.8 per cent, with the MRTS/Metro project alone getting 35.9 per cent of allocation.

Surat bagged the first India Smart Cities award for “implementing of projects under the India Smart Cities Mission”, in urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development. Cities like Pune, Bhubaneshwar and Jabalpur made good initiative to implement a number of smart city projects. 

Pune allocated Rs 154 crore for Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) which oversees 200 Wi-Fi hotspots and over 80 environmental and flood sensors along with public address system and traffic surveillance system. Bhubaneswar is developing a PPP-based common credit system that integrates with smart mobility card of public transport system. Jabalpur is ‘smartening’ solid waste management system by introducing GPS-enabled trucks and RFID tagged garbage bins with geo-referencing landfills supported with heating sensors. Now, 11 cities have started functioning with ICCCs while those in 29 cities will be ready shortly. 

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Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, and Coimbatore are among the 20 smart cities that may be ready by 2021. Presently, the projects worth Rs 9,981 crore are complete, while those remaining of the total Rs 50,221-crore investment are under implementation.

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