The government’s ambitious Smart City Mission, expected to be formally unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the end of June, will assign quotas for the number of smart cities every state can develop.
The final guidelines for the scheme as well as the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) were presented to Modi in a meeting attended by Union Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday.
Ministry sources said that while the nominations for smart cities will be done by the states themselves, no state will be allowed to exceed its quota based on population. According to the submission made, the selection of the final 100 smart cities will be a two-pronged process involving intra-state and inter-state competitions.
To be eligible for central assistance of Rs 48,000 crore, which will be made available to aspiring smart cities over the next five years, state governments and urban bodies will have to undertake a set of 11 reforms in urban governance and service delivery. Cities within a state will first have to compete with one another and after the state governments pitch their nominations, merely 20 cities that fit the norms will be eligible for funding in the first year of implementation, followed by 40 each over the next two years.
“Once celebrations for International Yoga Day on June 21 are over, PM Modi will launch both Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT,” said a ministry official, adding that mayors and municipal heads, state chief secretaries, urban development secretaries and ministers as well as NGOs dealing with housing and environment will be invited.
AMRUT is expected to be the NDA’s modified version of the UPA’s JNNURM. Of the 4,041 statutory cities and towns, AMRUT will cover 500 with a population more than 1 lakh each, as also some of the projects that were sanctioned under JNNURM but not completed.
The Centre’s outlay for AMRUT over the next five years is Rs 50,000 crore.