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Best 100 Cities to Get Smart Tag

Published: 22nd May 2015 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2015 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

MUMBAI:  The cities across the country will have to compete with one another to get a ‘smart’ tag and subsequent funding under the Centre’s ambitious ‘Smart City’ scheme, according  to a top official in Maharashtra’s Urban Development Department. And the state governments will have to shortlist the cities for the scheme.

“The Centre will hold a competition named as ‘Smart City Challenge’ for the shortlisted cities. The best among them (100) will be selected under the Smart City Plan,” the official, who recently attended a meeting in this regard in Delhi, told Express.

However, the state governments would not be able to shortlist their cities till the Centre issues guidelines pertaining to the criteria of a smart city.

“We all are waiting for the guidelines to be issued. They are expected soon,” the official said.

The Centre intends to develop 100 cities as smart cities and the selected ones will have quality infrastructure such as water, sanitation, reliable utility services and healthcare. It will attract investments and will have transparent process that makes it easy to run commercial activities and various citizen-centric services to make them feel safe and happy.

As per Modi Government’s plan,  20 smart cities will be identified in 2015, 40 in 2016 and another 40 in 2017. According to a source, there could be a cap of two to three smart cities per state.

“The cities will have to compete on several parameters to be eligible. The parameters are likely to be vision, progress under Swachh Bharat Mission, payment of salaries to municipal staff on time, information and grievance redressal mechanisms, self-financing abilities of the cities, service level and track record in implementing reforms,” the source said.

The Union Urban Development Ministry has maintained that around `40 lakh crore are required to build 100 smart cities. `7,060 crore is earmarked for the project. However, not a single paisa has been used from the allocation as the scheme is yet to be launched.



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