The Centre has approved funds to the tune of Rs 14,124 crore for 464 projects in eight cities in the Northeastern region that have been selected as Smart Cities, with the Brahmaputra Riverfront development project alone costing Rs 826 crore, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of state (independent charge) for housing and urban affairs, said here on Thursday.
Puri, who reviewed the progress of various projects to be undertaken in the eight Smart Cities in the region, also said that 24 of the 464 projects costing Rs 3706.05 crore – which have been identified as “impactful” – have been taken up expeditiously. These 24 “impactful projects, which include the Brahmaputra Riverfront development project, also includes the Kohima Ropeway project which would cost Rs 409 crore, the minister said.
The eight cities of the Northeastern region selected as Smart Cities are: Guwahati (Assam), Imphal (Manipur), Agartala (Tripura), Kohima (Nagaland), Aizawl (Mizoram), Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Gangtok and Namchi (both Sikkim). While no city from Meghalaya was chosen for the Smart City list, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has been pressing the Centre for also including Itanagar for the Smart City project. The ministry of urban development provides an assistance of Rs 500 crore per Smart City over a period of five years.
The minister, during the review meeting held here, also revealed that 42 towns across the eight states of the Northeastern region have been declared “Open Defecation-Free” (ODF) so far. Altogether 588 community and public toilets, and 20,237 individual household toilets have been constructed in towns across the region under Swachh Bharat Mission, he informed.
He also informed that 12 towns of the Northeast have been included in the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation of Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for providing water taps to all urban households, apart from improving water supply, expanding sewerage and drainage networks, promoting non-motorised transport and and development of open spaces.