Even as state governments of the first set of 20 cities shortlisted by the Centre to be developed as smart cities are busy identifying and appointing CEOs and senior executives of the special purpose vehicles (SPV), the government is expected to announce names of the next set of 14 cities ahead of the completion of two years of the Modi government. The SPVs will oversee all the work related to that particular city.
A source close to the development revealed that since the quantum of work to be done by each city is huge, the government wants to announce the names of the next set of cities in order to give them ample time to start work and ensure that work goes on simultaneously across several cities.
While details relating to the scope of work, expected cost and source of funding have already been submitted by the cities, the formation of special purpose vehicles (SPV) under the companies Act and appointment of its board members and top management has emerged as the top priority for the cities now. Importantly, the SPV will plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate the Smart City development projects and hence its formation is critical for the projects hitting the ground.
“Bhubaneswar and Jaipur have already appointed CEOs for their SPVs, and while 12 others have formed their SPVs, there are six who are still in the process of forming their respective SPVs. I think, over the next couple of months, all this should be over for the first set of 20 cities and they will be ready with their detailed project reports and start the bidding process for project execution,” said a source close to the development, adding that the project is moving at its scheduled pace and has not missed a single target.
The projects to be undertaken by the 20 smart cities is estimated to be worth $7 billion (around Rs 47,000 crore). On Thursday, M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of Urban Development said that the government will announce the next set of cities soon and they will be included in the first set of cities that will receive the first tranche of funding.
As the first set of smart cities prepare to take-off work and government getting ready with another 14 names, The Indian Express will over the next few weeks showcase the cities shortlisted, the projects undertaken and the investment that will go into them. The data relating to the city and details relating to the project have been sourced from “The Smart Cities Handbook” prepared by the Confederation of Indian Industries.
Bhubaneswar and Pune that ranked 1 and 2 in the smart city ranking based on their proposal and their plans which were cleared by the government in January are being showcased this week.