The Modi government on Thursday released the list of nominees for the ambitious smart city project. The list comprises 98 cities, including many state capitals. Surprisingly, the capitals of some major states, including Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala were left out.
Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu released the list on Thursday. Cities from Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra dominated the list of probable smart cities, with 13, 12 and 10 being nominated from these states respectively.
As many as 24 state capitals have been in contention to be developed as smart cities, while some key cities, including Bengaluru, Kolkata, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram could not find space in the list.
"Capital cities Itanagar, Patna, Shimla, Bengaluru, Daman, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Gangtok and Kolkata could not be nominated," Venkaiah Naidu said at a press conference in Delhi.
While there were supposed to be 100 nominations, Jammu and Kashmir is yet to announce its nominee. There was a tie between Meerut and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.
The list of nomination marks the first stage in the selection process of smart cities, in which the state governments nominated potential cities and the Centre shortlisted 100.
In the second stage, the government will provide Rs 2 crore each to the nominated cities with which they have to prepare their "smart city proposals".
From these 100 cities, 20 will be shortlisted as smart cities, following which the central government will allocate Rs 100 crore to each for its development. The government will spend about Rs 3 lakh crore over the next five years on the smart city project.
The smart cities mission envisions "smart solutions" in terms of citizen services, open spaces, waste management, urban mobility and housing opportunities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Smart Cities Mission in June and had said that the selected cities will have "very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city".
To know more about the features of a smart city, read the Urban Development ministry's mission statement.
Smart Cities need Smart People, we need people's co-operation to move forward in our mission: Venkaiah Naidu pic.twitter.com/exlzCVtuuB
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