NEW DELHI: Thiruvananthapurum in Kerala and Tirunelveli, Thootukkudi and Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu are some of the cities which have become part of the list of 30 Smart Cities announced by the Centre on Friday. Rebutting the criticism in certain quarters that Smart City Mission is elitist, union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu asserted that smart city development is based on the shared vision of citizens and respective city governments.
Ministry of urban development announced another list of 30 cities for development as smart cities taking the total cities picked up so far to 90 under Smart City Mission launched on June 25, 2015.
Announcing the new batch of smart cities at a national workshop on Urban Transformation in New Delhi, Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu said that 45 cities contested for 40 available smart city slots but only 30 were selected to ensure feasible and workable plans that match the aspirations of the citizens as directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching the mission.
Thiruvananthapuram took the first slot, followed Naya Raipur, Rajkot, Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati, and Bihar capital Patna. Four cities in Tamil Nadu -- Tiruppur, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tiruchirappalli, and three in Uttar Pradesh -- Jhansi, Allahabad and Aligarh -- also made it to the list.
Naidu informed that the 30 cities proposed a total investment of Rs.57,393 crore under respective smart city plans. This includes Rs 46,879 crore for ensuring core infrastructure in the areas identified by citizens for area based development and Rs.10,514 cr for technology based solutions for improving governance , service delivery and utilization of infrastructure. With this the total investment approved under the smart city plans of 90 cities has gone up to Rs.1,91,155 cr.
The Minister said that 20 cities will be contesting for the remaining 10 slots under smart city mission. These are; Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Biharsharif (Bihar), Diu (Daman & Diu), Silvassa (Dadra and Nager Haveli), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Navimumbai, Greater Mumbai and Amaravati (Maharashtra), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dindigul and Erode(Tamil Nadu), Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia (West Bengal), Meerut,Rai Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Sharanpur and Rampur (UP).
Naidu said selection of cities for smart city development is running ahead of schedule and the remaining cities would submit revised smart city plans for filling up the vacant slots.
Other cities that figured in the latest smart city list included Karimnagar (Telangana), Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Puducherry, Gandhinagar and Dahod (Gujarat), Srinagar and Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir), Sagar and Satna (Madhya Pradesh) and Karnal (Haryana).
Bengaluru (Karnataka), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Pimpri-Chinchwad (Maharashtra), Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Aizawl (Mizoram) and Gangtok (Sikkim) were also selected.