With finance minister Arun Jaitley allocating Rs 7040 crore in 2014-15 budget for developing smart cities, the urban development (UD) ministry has set the ball rolling for preparing the blueprint for the project.
At a two-day brainstorming session, UD minister M Venkaiah Naidu met his counterparts from other ministries as well as MPs from different parties to get their suggestion on how to go about implementing the smart cities project. The UD ministry is yet to finalise a concrete plan on the project’s implementation.
The session saw power minister Piyush Goyal suggesting that states which have ready land available should be given priority for developing new cities based on smart technology while Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that “small towns that are not handicapped by d and cities that are not handicapped by legacy issues like congestion and limited land availability could be chosen first to developed as smart cities.”
BJD leader Baijayant Panda observed that emerging towns should included under smart cities initiative aimed at energy efficiency, clustering of infrastructure and efficient management and governance ensuring inter-sectoral linkages. BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy emphasised on the need to develop a “India specific smart city model.”
“The new urban development initiatives should aim at improving the quality of urban life in the country by addressing the chronic urban problems and by going beyond provision of just infrastructure,” said UD minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Naidu suggested that there could be two different schemes — one for renewal of 500 urban habitations by providing safe drinking water, sewerage management and use of recycled water, solid waste management and digital connectivity and the other for developing smart cities. He directed officials of his ministry to prepare a cabinet note for the project at the earliest.