Thiruvananthapuram tops list of 30 new smart cities

SansadTV Bureau
File photo of BJP MP and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

File photo of BJP MP and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Rajkot in Gujarat have figured in the new list of 30 smart cities announced by the government. These cities will be developed under the Centre’s Smart City Mission.

With the latest announcement, there are 90 cities that have been selected for part financing of projects by the Centre under the scheme. Under the Smart City Mission, the Centre provides Rs 500
crore to each city over a period of five years for implementing various projects.

Thiruvananthapuram topped the list, followed Naya Raipur, Rajkot, Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati, and Bihar capital Patna. Other cities that figured in the list include Karimnagar (Telangana), Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Puducherry, Gandhinagar and Dahod (Gujarat), Srinagar and Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir), Sagar and Satna (Madhya Pradesh), Karnal (Haryana), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Pimpri-Chinchwad (Maharashtra), Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Aizawl (Mizoram) and Gangtok (Sikkim).

Announcing the new list at an event in Delhi, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu clarified that 45 cities had contested for the 40 available slots but only 30 were selected to ensure their feasibility and workable plans.

Four cities in Tamil Nadu — Tiruppur, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tiruchirappalli, and three in Uttar Pradesh — Jhansi, Allahabad and Aligarh — also made it to the list.

An investment of Rs 57,393 crore has been proposed for development of these 30 cities. Of the planned expenditure, Rs 46,879 crore will be for core infrastructure and Rs 10,514 crore for technology-based solutions.

With this, the total investment approved under the smart city plans of 90 cities has gone up to Rs 1,91,155 crore, Naidu said.

The minister said that 20 more cities will be contesting for the remaining 10 slots under the Smart City Mission.

Of the 30 cities announced today, 26 have proposed affordable housing projects that benefit the urban poor, 26 cities will be taking up school and hospital projects, 29 will be taking up redesign and redevelopment of roads.

Referring to reports that maximum funds are being allocated to a small part of a city areas under the plan, Naidu said the citizens and city governments proposed the projects for fixing the infrastructure deficit in their respective cities.

“That is how urban development has been approached in countries such as the US. Nowhere in the world a city has been made smart overnight in one go,” he said.

Naidu also launched the City Liveability Index which will help a city to know where it stands in ensuring the quality of life to its citizens. This exercise will be taken up in 116 cities — covering all smart cities, capitals and cities with over one million population each. The ranking will be out next year, Naidu said.

(With inputs from PTI)