Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday announced the names of the first 20 cities selected to be developed as smart cities. The capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar topping the list and Pune and Jaipur coming in second and third respectively. These 20 smart cities will get the funds first to kickstart their development process with a per city allocation of Rs 100 crore for each of the five years of the mission period and Rs 50,802 crore will be invested in this cities over the next five years.
As per estimates, about 25–30 people will migrate every minute to major Indian cities from rural areas in search of better livelihood and better lifestyles. With this momentum, about 843 million people are expected to live in urban areas by 2050. To accommodate this massive urbanization, India needs to find smarter ways to manage complexities, reduce expenses, increase efficiency and improve the quality of life.
Government will provide basic infrastructure and will offer a good quality of life through smart solutions in these cities. Assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation along with safety of its citizens are some of the likely attributes of these smart cities.
Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Vishakapatnam, Sholapur, Davangere, Indore, New Delhi (New Delhi municipal council area), Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal are the selected cities for smart city project. Congratulating the winners of the competition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I wish the cities the very best as they move forward with implementation and transform urban India.”
Though there were 100 cities in the mission, Telangana has sought time to replace Hyderabad with another city and the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh are yet to select one city each.