First 20 smart cities announced; Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur top 3

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Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday announced the first list of 20 cities to be developed as Smart Cities, with Bhubaneswar topping the list and Pune and Jaipur coming in second and third respectively.

The others on the list include Surat, Kochi and Ahmedabad.

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 a news conference. “Bottom up approach has been the key planning principle under Smart City Mission,” he said.

“The Smart City Challenge Competition was as rigorous and demanding as the civil services competition conducted,” Naidu quipped.

Here is the complete list of the cities:

1. Bhubaneswar

2. Pune

3. Jaipur

4. Surat

5. Kochi

6.Ahmedabad

7.Jabalpur

8.Visakhapatnam

9.Solapur

10 Davanagere

11. Indore

12. New Delhi

13. Coimbatore

14. Kakinada

15. Belgaum

16. Udaipur

17. Guwahati

18. Chennai

19. Ludhiana

20. Bhopal

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.

The government plans to build these smart cities by 2022 to help accommodate its swelling urban population, which is set to rise by more than 400 million people to 814 million by 2050.

The cities are competing on a variety of matrices, including urban reforms and their plan of action in four key areas — Swachh Bharat, Make in India, good governance (modern accounting system, rationalisation of property taxes) and e-governance.

The Centre and states will equally split the overall cost of the project estimated at Rs 96,000 crore. The central government will provide on an average Rs. 100 crore per chosen city per year. The project cost of each smart city will vary depending upon the level of ambition, model, capacity to execute and repay.

Raising funds is the key challenge as also is developing older cities with limited scope to overhaul. Heavily populated areas may need complete rebuilding which will then involve temporarily rehabilitating people and, in some cases, acquiring land.

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