Updated: December 2, 2021 10:24:35 pm
The Centre has extended the timeline for the implementation of the Smart Cities Mission to June 2023, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs informed Parliament on Thursday. According to officials, the delay has been caused by the pandemic.
The physical progress of the ambitious programme, aimed at developing citizen-friendly and self-sustainable urban settlements, was earlier expected to be measurable only by 2021, when the first 20 of them were to be completed.
The Union government had announced the project for developing 100 cities as “smart” ones on June 25, 2015. Cities were chosen through four rounds of selection from January 2016 to June 2018.
A minimum of five years is given for a city to be completed; the first 20 cities were selected in January 2016.
Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, New Delhi Municipal Council, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal were the winners of the first round of the Smart City Challenge competition 2016.
Under the mission, the government aims to focus on innovative digital technologies interlinked with its ‘Digital India’, providing technology solutions such as surveillance systems to reduce crime and improve safety of residents. Projects related to e-governance, mobility, integrated traffic management and solid waste management have been envisaged.
The process starts with the formation of an implementing agency, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), promoted by the state/Union Territory and the urban local body, with a 50% equity shareholding each. The SPV, formed as a limited company, is governed by the Companies Act, 2013.
With the Centre preparing a 60-point action plan following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with secretaries of all departments and ministries in September, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has also begun work to finalise its recommendation for providing Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) as a service to states and smaller cities, the Indian Express reported on November 27.
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