13 new smart cities announced; Lucknow tops the list
NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday announced the names of 13 more cities to be developed as smart cities, taking the total count to 33.
Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh topped a fast-track competition conducted for 23 cities by the central government. The other selected cities are Warangal in Telangana, Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Raipur, New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur in Bihar, Panaji, Port Blair, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala and Faridabad in Haryana.
“Cities that participated in the competition improved the quality of (their original) smart city plans by over 25% to become eligible for selection,” Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.
The 13 cities have proposed total investment of Rs 30,229 crore. The 20 cities on the original list had proposed Rs 50,802 crore.
Mathura and Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir will be allowed to participate in the smart city competition and one city from each of these two states will be selected based on the quality of their smart city plans.
Seven capitals left out of the smart city mission Patna, Shimla, Naya Raipur, Itanagar, Amaravati, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram will also be allowed to participate in the competition.
The government in January set the ball rolling on its flagship 100 smart cities plan by announcing the first list of 20. Bhubaneswar topped the city challenge competition. The government then offered a fast-track window for 23 cities rejected in the first round to upgrade their proposals and resubmit them by April 15.
On the BJP-led government’s major achievements, Naidu said as many as 6.84 lakh houses have already been sanctioned for economically weaker sections under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) in the past two years. For affordable housing for the urban poor, central assistance of Rs 10,050 crore has also been approved.
The central assistance for improving basic infrastructure in urban areas has been increased to Rs 1.13 lakh crore under new urban missions.
Naidu informed that the new urban sector initiatives of PMAY (Urban), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Start City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana have a total investment potential of Rs 18 lakh crore. Of this, an investment of Rs 1.48 lakh crore has already been approved, he said.