Lucknow tops list of 13 new smart cities

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member

The Centre today announced 13 more smart cities, including Chandigarh, Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) and Faridabad (Haryana), that won the fast-track competition conducted for 23 cities.
After many states that failed to make the cut in the first phase in January, the Centre introduced the fast-track mode and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the cities that participated in the competition improved the quality of plans by up to over 25 per cent.
Declaring the results of the competition, Naidu said Lucknow, that missed the list of first 20 smart cities, improved the quality of its smart city plan by 19 per cent to make it to the select list. Other winners of fast-track competition are: Warangal, Telanagana (13%); Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh (27%); Chandigarh (9%); Raipur, Chhattisgarh (25%); New Town Kolkata (11%); Bhagalpur, Bihar (25%); Panaji, Goa (9%); Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands (26%); Imphal, Manipur (27%); Ranchi, Jharkhand (27%); Agartala, Tripura (25%); and Faridabad, Haryana (12%).

These cities were selected on the basis of marks scored by them in the fast-track competition and bench marks set by the top performers in the first round of the competition in which the first 20 cities were selected from among 98 mission cities.
He said these 13 cities substantially improved their smart city plans by addressing the deficiencies identified in the first round of competition by ensuring better profiling of respective cities in terms of infrastructure gaps and baseline service levels, ensuring consistency between citizens’ aspirations and action plans, more feasible resource mobilisation plans and coordinated and integrated picture of how individual projects will contribute to area level changes.
Other cities, including Dehradun in Uttarakhand who could not make it to the list, can submit their revised smart city plans for evaluation in the second round of regular competition underway by the end of June.
Informing of a tie between Meerut and Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Srinagar in J&K, Naidu said it would be resolved by allowing them to participate in the smart city competition and one city from each of the two states would be selected on the basis of the quality of their smart city plans.
Ten cities that failed to make the cut were Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Shillong (Meghalaya), Namchi (Sikkim), Diu (Daman & Diu), Oulgaret (Puducherry), Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Kohima (Nagaland), Aizawl (Mizoram), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep) and Dehradun (Uttarakhand).
Seven capital cities — Patna, Shimla, Naya Raipur, Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) — left out of Smart City Mission will be allowed to participate in the competition. Assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation are some of the highlights of the smart city project.
Under the Smart City Mission, 100 cities across the country will be developed as smart cities by 2019-20 with the Centre providing financial support to the extent of Rs 48,000 crore over five years.
While 20 smart cities were selected during 2015-16 as per the Mission guidelines, another 40 (including 13 today) would be selected during 2016-17 and the remaining 40 during the next financial year.
Each city selected in different rounds of competition will be given central assistance of Rs 200 crore in the first year and Rs 100 crore each during the subsequent three financial years.