The Urban Development Minister, Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu, has said that every State in the country will be developing at least one city into Smart City under the initiative taken by the Central Government to develop 100 smart cities.
A Government press release quoted the minister as saying that the Union Cabinet granted approval for the Smart Cities Mission last week and guidelines for its implementation, which includes the criteria for selection of cities that are being finalised. The means for selecting the cities for developing them as smart cities will be initiated after the guidelines are issued to the States, he added.
According to Naidu, a Smart City would be having provision for basic infrastructure to give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of Smart Solutions, keeping citizens at the centre”. He said that the Smart Cities Mission involves ‘an area-based approach’ and it is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City.
He added that the Smart City aspirants will be selected based on a ‘City Challenge Competition’. The cities will be graded based on their revenues, expenditure, availability of infrastructure relating to transport, drinking water, solid waste management etc. Shri Naidu emphasised the need for smart leadership and smart people to achieve the objectives of the Smart Cities Mission by undertaking the much needed urban reforms.
Elaborating on the benefits of India-US Cooperation in making Visakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer as Smart Cities, Shri Naidu said that that the US will extend technical support for preparing Master Plans for these three cities besides assisting in capacity building and undertaking feasibility studies etc.