The Centre on Friday announced the third batch of Smart Cities on Friday. Among the 30 cities unveiled by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu were Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Patna, Jammu, Shimla and Allahabad.
This brings the number of cities selected under the project to 90, leaving 10 slots remaining in the Smart City Mission. The proposed investment in these 30 cities is Rs 57,393 crore.
Naidu made the announcement at the National Workshop on Urban Transformation in Delhi. He said 45 cities had contested for the 40 available slots, but they had chosen only 30 to ensure better implementation of the plan.
Bhubaneswar, Pune and Jaipur were among the 20 that had made it to the first list of Smart Cities announced in January 2016. In May 2016, Lucknow, Dharamsala and Chandigarh were among the 13 that were declared winners of the Fast Track Smart Cities competition.
Mumbai not in the list
Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had opted out of submitting a proposal to be part of the scheme. India’s richest urban local body, which has a budget of Rs 25,000 crore, is believed to have doubts about the Smart City Mission, which include handing over implementation of the project to a special purpose vehicle and leaving the civic body with little role to play.
BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta had informed Naidu last month that Mumbai would not participate in the mission, according to The Indian Express. A spokesperson for the Urban Development Ministry told the newspaper that the BMC had not submitted a proposal from Mumbai for this round.
What are Smart Cities?
The selected cities will be developed to have basic infrastructure, including water and power supply, sanitation management, efficient public transport, e-governance and IT connectivity. The Cabinet had approved the smart cities plan in 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that there will be Smart Cities in every state, with Uttar Pradesh getting the most, at 13. Each state will have a number of smart cities depending on its size, population, and other factors.