The ambitious “Smart City” project of the NDA government is likely to be brought for Cabinet’s approval on April 22, sources said. The project, which is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s heart, got a go-ahead from the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) last week.
To begin with, the “Smart City” project would include 20 cities and the number would subsequently go up to 100.
Every city has been earmarked Rs 100 crore each for the project. The project has been at a consultative stage since the NDA government announced it in May 2014.
“A Cabinet note has been prepared for the Smart City project and is likely to come up for approval on April 22,” said a senior UD ministry official. Prime Minister Modi is presently on a three-nation tour and the next Cabinet meeting is expected to be held on April 22 when he returns.
Apart from the Smart City project, the new urban renewal mission is also likely to be taken up by the Cabinet. While Rs 2,000 crore has been allocated for the Smart City project, the urban mission has got Rs 4,000 crore for the current fiscal, as per the EFC.
Aiming at upgrading the basic infrastructure in cities, the new urban renewal mission, which replaces UPA’s flagship JNNURM, is likely to be named “Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation” (AMRUT) after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The official, however, said no such name has been finalised yet.
The proposed urban mission will take up projects related to sanitation, drinking water, urban transportation and sewerage among others.
As far as the Smart City project is concerned, it will be mostly taken up with active participation of private players and partnership with state governments and urban local bodies.
Continuous supply of water and electricity, advanced health facilities, hassle-free transportation system, wi-fi enabled zones, effective garbage collection and treatment of garbage and sewage are some of the essential components of the Smart City project. The urban local bodies will have to undertake certain reforms in order to be eligible to be part of the Smart City project, the official added.