Very soon, Bhubaneswar will have IT connectivity, e-governance, efficient urban mobility and public transport and basic infrastructure through assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management.
So will Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi and another 15 cities that will be developed as Smart Cities.
The urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced the first 20 winners of a nationwide competition to pick cities and towns that will go through a complete makeover.
A total investment of Rs 50,802 crore has been proposed in the selected Smart Cities and towns during the five year period.
These 20 cities have been chosen from 97 cities that were a part of the Smart City Challenge. These cities will be the first to receive funds, thus kickstarting the process of developing them into smart cities.
These cities will be developed to have basic infrastructure through assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation.
“The states selected cities and sent us a list of 97 names. There was a competition among these names and 20 cities have been selected,” Naidu told at a news conference.
“Bottom up approach has been the key planning principle under Smart City Mission,” he said.
In the subsequent years, the government will announce 40 cities each to be developed as Smart Cities as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to develop 100 Smart Cities in the country. Each state will have at least one Smart City, which, in PM Modi's words, translates to "very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city".
The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively.
Of the 98 cities and towns that five years down will graduate into smart cities, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are culture and tourism influenced areas, five are port cities and three are education and health care hubs.
Speaking on challenges and the way ahead for urban development, Naidu said perpetuation of inequities in urban areas has serious implications for national security and hence, the government is committed to ensuring inclusive development under new initiatives like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
Naidu stressed on the need for inclusive urban development, noting that "it was the need of the hour with 'Young India' becoming more and more aspirational".
He expressed concern regarding the exploitation of urban spaces by the well-to-do sections of the society at the cost of the poor and the marginalised and stressed on inclusivity while taking decisions related to urban governance.
Following is the list of 20 smart cities:
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