The Centre on Thursday announced the names of first 20 cities to be developed as Smart Cities in India. There were 97 cities in the Smart City Challenge Competition.
Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davangere, Indore, New Delhi (NDMC), Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana, Bhopal are among 20 cities selected for the Smart City project.
“Implementation of smart cities plan will showcase integrated planning. The investment of Rs 50,802 crores has been proposed in selected smart cities and towns during the five-year period,” said minister of urban development Venkaiah Naidu, while announcing the list.
“There are five capital cities among the 20 smart cities chosen,” Naidu said. “A consortium of only Indian companies was chosen for plans of nine cities from the 20 cities chosen,” he added.
According to Naidu, the government has set aside Rs. 48,000 crore for the project, and that the cities were chosen through a fair competition. The investment in each city will range from Rs. 1049 crore to Rs. 5099 crore.
None of the cities are from the big states Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. On the other hand, some states have two or more nominees – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
The government has denied any role in the selection. “Nothing was decided in Delhi, nothing was dictated in Delhi,” the minister asserted.
The urban development ministry received proposals for 97 cities from state governments.
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.