Capitals lose out to other towns in smart city nominations | india | Hindustan Times
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Capitals lose out to other towns in smart city nominations

Except for a handful of capital cities like Bengaluru, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Shimla, a majority of the states have nominated their capital to be developed as smart cities under the NDA government's flagship program.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2015 00:54 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta

Except for a handful of capital cities like Bengaluru, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Shimla, a majority of the states have nominated their capital to be developed as smart cities under the NDA government's flagship program.

Karnataka, which could nominate a maximum of six cities, chose Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi, Shimoga, Tumakuru, Davanagere and Mangaluru in the first stage of the program. Bengaluru lost out as it scored less on the 13 qualifying parameters that included existing service level, past track record, reforms, self financing capacity of cities etc.

The parameters have been set by the Union urban development (UD) ministry which is piloting the program. In Bihar, three smaller cities -- Bihar Sharif, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur -- beat capital Patna in round one. Similarly Kochi scored over Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram. Himachal Pradesh's capital Shimla has lost out to Dharamshala.

By Friday -- the deadline for states to shortlist 100 potential smart cities -- the UD ministry received almost all the nominations barring a few like Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana and Punjab.

However, not all the 100 cities that qualified round one would be developed as a smart city.

While stage one involved an intra-city competition, for the final selection, all the cities would have to participate in a "city challenge" to be held in September. Twenty cities would be chosen to be developed as smart cities in the first year.

Delhi has also been shortlisted. Ghaziabad, Varanasi and Lucknow are among the 13 cities nominated by Uttar Pradesh.

Maharashtra nominated Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Nagpur among its 10 cities. Six cities in Gujarat, including Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, have made the cut.

West Bengal capital Kolkata, Bidhan Nagar, New City and Haldea have made it to round one. Odisha chose Bhuvaneshwar and Rourkela. Madhya Pradesh has nominated seven cities in all.

The number of cities that each state could select is based on a formula that gives a 50:50 weightage to a state's population and the number of statutory towns.