Central govt announces 98 Smart Cities, Venkaiah Naidu terms them ‘safe investments for pvt firms’

The government today announced smart cities and left out Bengaluru, Patna, Trivandrum, Kolkata, Puduchery from the list.

Written by Shalini Nair | New Delhi | Updated: August 27, 2015 8:03 pm
Smarty city, smart cities list, venkaiah naidu Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu showing the list of cities chosen for the ‘Smart Cities project’ at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. (Source: PTI)

The union government on Thursday released the list of 98 cities that will be developed under the Smart Cities mission. These cities together have a population of 13 crore, accounting for 35 per cent of India’s urban population.

Names of two cities — one from Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh each — are yet to be revealed.

The metros with a population of over 50 lakh each on Smart Cities list include Chennai, Greater Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Greater Mumbai. Some of the other important urban local bodies that have been included in the list are the New Delhi Municipal Council, Vishakhapatnam, Chandigarh, Surat, Kochi, Bhopal, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Jaipur, Allahabad and Lucknow.

The Smart Cities mission, launched by PM Narendra Modi in June this year, will provide central funding of Rs 48,000 crore to the selected cities for improving their infrastructure and service delivery through application of better technology and e-governance.

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Explaining the meaning of Smart Cities in an Indian context, Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Development, said that it would ensure robust IT connectivity and digitization as also core infrastructure such as water supply, electricity supply, sanitation, public transport, solid waste management and affordable housing. “We are not just aiming at making our urban landscape fanciful and flashy but the prime objective is to enhance quality of urban life,” he said.

Complete list of cities

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He added that central government will immediately release Rs 2 crore to each of the cities for preparation of their smart city plans. The state and urban local bodies have to provide a matching contribution of Rs 48,000 crore to each city for the five year mission. This is in addition to thousands of crores worth investments from the private sector which they will be allowed to recover through levy of user charges on say water supply or urban transport. “In a situation such as the recent financial crisis, when private firms are looking for safe investments, I assure them that Smart Cities are safe investment. The land is going to be readily available and the returns are assured,” he said.

According to the union government, twenty four cities on the list are industrial or business centres, 18 are cultural or tourism hubs, five are port cities and three are educational and heath care hubs and capital cities account for a quarter of total Smart Cities. However, nine state capitals have been left out of mission. These include Patna, Bengaluru, Trivandrum, Kolkata, Puducherry, Gangtok, Shimla, Daman, Itnanagar. All states and union territories were to send in their nominations according to the quota allotted to them by the centre by July 31st. The quota was assigned based on the the number of statutory cities and towns in the state and its total population. Accordingly, UP had the highest allotment at 13 followed by Tamil Nadu at 12 and Maharashtra at 10. The smaller states, North eastern states and union territories mostly have only one smart city slot each.

The J&K government has asked for more time to decide on whether the winter capital of Jammu or the summer capital of Srinagar should be their smart city candidate. The conflict-ridden state is allowed only one nomination to the mission after demands by the state government to allow for two was turned down by the Centre. According to the ministry, both Jammu and Srinagar have similar scores in the grading system. The same is the case with Rae Bareli and Meerut both of which had a tie for the 13th position in Uttar Pradesh.

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  1. S
    Satendra kumar
    Aug 28, 2015 at 11:15 am
    Smart cities are the future for coming generations and the central governtment's planned right on track.
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    1. R
      Raj
      Aug 28, 2015 at 4:22 am
      And the rest of the political parties consist of saints only? Do you have a gl /crystal globe in which you look and predict the future? It seems you have an agenda to not let India develop Mr. Phony I.D.
      Reply
      1. L
        Liju Raibole
        Aug 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm
        Many cities are already very well developed. Government should have targeted tier 2 and tier 3 cities which needs infrastructure. It's irrelevant to say that government will develop Chennai, Greater Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Greater Mumbai. These are Metro cities and well developed as compare to many small cities wherein proper Infrastructure or basic amenities is missing. Instead of spending funds on these cities government should spend money in developing small cities so that people get employment opportunity in their own city after development of infrastructure. I am sure you would agree with me and take this forward to urban minister asap.
        Reply
        1. S
          S Srinivasan
          Aug 27, 2015 at 10:23 pm
          Excellent way of organised development.The congestion at Metros has gone to alarming level. Once water supply,sanitation,health facilities are provided in the smart cities,other things will fall in line.Job opportunities would increase manifold. Steel,cement and other materials demand would increase.
          Reply
          1. B
            Bonita
            Aug 28, 2015 at 11:15 am
            Once again West Bengal has been left out in the lurch. If the central government wishes to showcase the country along with revamping its foreign policy , then the most the Prime Minister can do is make an impartial choice of the locations earmarked for upgradation.
            Reply
            1. D
              ds
              Aug 27, 2015 at 1:13 pm
              In 1.5 years this Govt has only announced the names of smart cities - just imagine how long will it take to initiate the work and complete it ????? This Govt is just surviving on Media headlines and hype with 0% substance - as we all rightly say - Empty VESSELS MAKE THE MOST NOISE - Friends see how Gujarat is burning today even after the Modi as CM claims 12 years of Development since 2002.then why are Patel's fighting for reservations - there should be enough development for all to survive - but it seems they still need reservations to survive. Success achieved on hype is short-lived. This dirty game of Smart Cities is only going to result in scams by syphoning funds from central & state exchequer.
              Reply
              1. B
                bharathS
                Aug 27, 2015 at 5:40 pm
                why UP and TN were awarded so many smart cities?I don't think its because those cities have qualified the criteria but to increase the BJP vote bank in these two states.Political parties always think politics.
                Reply
                1. H
                  Harshad
                  Aug 27, 2015 at 2:29 pm
                  Good joke Mumbai's annual budget is 38000 crore. Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad are combined under smart city project . Pune's budget -4500 crore and Pimpri Chinchwad upto 5000crore so total almost 10000 crore Now central govt will give 100 crore to each city for development. In short amount is less than 1% for Mumbai pune & Pimpri Chinchwad equal to 1%. Govt thinks that city will be developed as smart cities. Suppose monthly budget of home is 50000 and company give increament of 5000 and order us to renovate flats. How stupid
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    BharatK
                    Aug 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm
                    Great news. Bharat/India is going to have balanced regional development with smart cities across the nation. This is how the national development must proceed. These cities will serve as Growth Centre for each region.
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      king
                      Aug 27, 2015 at 5:35 pm
                      Officially Amit Shah the president of BJP said for development of India by BJP people should vote and vote and vote and wait and wait and wait for development for this he said it will take 25 years... politician saying 25 years multiply it by 4 as they do not immediately keep promises ....this implies our gchildren's children will see the development if we believe them
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        MKS dri
                        Aug 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm
                        will there be any accountability for use of this huge money allotted to smart cities?? How many of the guys engaged in this will become millionaires?? Wait and see how this fund will be utilized to improve the important localities where rich and powerful people are staying while those in slum will become even worse than what they are!!! How many MPs have utilized the money given to them for development of their consuency is still not known and who is monitoring this is also not known!!!!
                        Reply
                        1. m
                          mohd.kabir@rediffmail
                          Aug 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm
                          Rs. 96000 Cr (including contribution by states) over 5 years for 98 cities would come out to be only 980 Cr for each cities for the work of 5 years. It is as good as owning just 2 malls in the city like Mumbai. Worry a new Jumla on the way
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Mandhata Prasad
                            Aug 28, 2015 at 4:00 am
                            India has forgotten the first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. Who had non controversial great man in the history . The home city Siwan should have listed in North Bihar list.
                            Reply
                            1. D
                              dhoni
                              Aug 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm
                              What a joke....Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai included in the list.......super joke of the decade.....
                              Reply
                              1. N
                                Narayan
                                Aug 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm
                                Good initiative, well done Namo and Team India.
                                Reply
                                1. N
                                  nayak
                                  Aug 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm
                                  modi is best suitable option too choose now-a-days........
                                  Reply
                                  1. N
                                    Nitin
                                    Aug 28, 2015 at 3:58 pm
                                    Lets' get real about a #SmartCity with help from this bestseller by Arun Firodia. Visit Website : -
                                    Reply
                                    1. N
                                      Nitin
                                      Aug 28, 2015 at 4:54 pm
                                      The government of India has announced 98 cities to be transcended to smart cities. A welcome decision in deed! What is left to be seen is how well the government deploys all the resources at manifesting this vision into a reality and how well the administration puts them to a productive use. There is another side to the success of this policy when it is materialized. When the government decides to make a city smart, the people should know what it exactly means as it is only then that they will be able to to upkeep what they receive. I recently came across a book led "Smart City" by Arun Firodia, a well known entrepreneur from Pune, in which he presents a blueprint for a Smart Industrial City. This book is available on Amazon and Flipkart.
                                      Reply
                                      1. N
                                        Naganathan
                                        Aug 28, 2015 at 2:18 am
                                        Good beginning to a novel approach. More transparency is required in fund allocation & usage. India is known for pilferage of public funds by vested interests. More transparency & accountability mechanisms to be put in place along with launch of the scheme.
                                        Reply
                                        1. O
                                          Ozair Akhtar
                                          Aug 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm
                                          I thought new cities are built from scratch?
                                          Reply
                                          1. R
                                            rajan Karunakaran
                                            Aug 27, 2015 at 9:32 pm
                                            The past experience of development of New Bomby(Navimumbai) to decongestant Mumbai is also would have been considered. Firstly there would be infrastructure to provide employment opportunities to the residents of the smart cities. Otherwise such cities will be faulty investment like airports constructed now remaining without pengers.
                                            Reply
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