NEW DELHI: In a bid to bring the delayed ‘Smart Cities’ project on the fast track, the ministry of urban affairs in partnership with the World Bank has designed a performance-based incentive program for select Smart Cities with a total outlay of 500 million US dollars.
A letter written by the ministry of housing and urban affairs to the CEOs of special purpose vehicle (SPV) of the Smart Cities last week said that the performance based grants will be disbursed to the SPVs on achievement of performance and results.
A senior official of the ministry of urban affairs said that the main purpose is to ensure timely completion of the flagship scheme of the government. “The share going to each SPV would depend on their relative performance in development of Smart cities. This way the final set of SPVs selected for participation in the program will be competing against each other for volume of funds and the performance will be calibrated against the performance measures,” added the official.
The grants will be open to only the first 60 SPVs selected under the Smart Cities Mission for the first phase of the program. For this purpose, each interested State will be required to submit information for only those Smart Cities which were selected in the first three rounds.
“A total of 12 SPVs will be shortlisted for participation in the program. The selection will be done based on aggregate performance of SPVs in their States. Selection of SPVs from the shortlisted states will be done based on performance of individual SPVs in these States, with the higher ranking SPVs,” added the officer.
To facilitate the screening of States and shortlisting of SPVs interested in participating, a screening framework has been prepared and a detailed assessment will be carried out by the World Bank for grant of the incentive.
Smart City mission was launched by the Centre in June 2015 after several months of preparations, but the project across the country is still in the stage of planning. According to sources, setting up of special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement the works took long time. Subsequently, CEOs were appointed and tendering of the projects started. Works could be started mostly in the first batch of 20 cities which were announced in January, 2016.
Under Smart City Mission, ninety cities have so far been identified through three rounds of competition for implementing smart city plans. A total investment of Rs 1.91 lakh cr has been proposed by these 90 cities. Ministry has also urged the States to ensure commencement of work by November this year on 261 smart city projects in 60 cities that were announced during January- September, 2016. These identified projects accounts for an investment of Rs 31,112 crore.
The first batch of 20 smart cities was announced in January last year, followed by another 13 through Fast Track Competition in May last year, 27 cities in September last year and another 30 cities in June this year.