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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

20 smart cities may be ready only by 2021

Latest data from the ministry of housing and urban development, which is overseeing the initiative, show that projects worth Rs 50,221 crore are under implementation, out of which projects worth Rs 9,981 crore are complete.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2018 08:26 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The physical progress of the NDA government’s Smart Cities Mission, aimed at developing 100 citizen-friendly and self-sustainable urban settlements, will be measurable only by 2021.
The physical progress of the NDA government’s Smart Cities Mission, aimed at developing 100 citizen-friendly and self-sustainable urban settlements, will be measurable only by 2021.(HT Photo)
         

The physical progress of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission, aimed at developing 100 citizen-friendly and self-sustainable urban settlements, will be measurable only by 2021, when the first 20 of them are completed, officials aware of the project’s development said.

Latest data from the ministry of housing and urban development, which is overseeing the initiative, show that projects worth Rs 50,221 crore are under implementation, out of which projects worth Rs 9,981 crore are complete.

Under the mission, the government aims to focus on innovative digital technologies interlinked with its ‘Digital India’, providing technology solutions such as surveillance systems to reduce crime and improve safety of residents. Projects related to e-governance, mobility, integrated traffic management and solid waste management have been envisaged.

The process starts with the formation of implementing agency, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), promoted by the state/Union Territory and the urban local body, with a 50% equity shareholding each. The SPV, formed as a limited company, is governed by the Companies Act, 2013.

“Minimum five years is given for a city to be completed; the first 20, selected in January 2016, will be completed only in 2021. The feeling people have is why hasn’t the work been completed. The point is that in all these big infrastructure projects, there are multiple steps involved,” a senior official in the ministry said.

“Cities have to form SPVs, which takes at least three months. Then they have to appoint a project management committee, which takes another three months. After that, they prepare the detailed project reports,” a senior official said.

“After DPRs, cities have to prepare the request for proposal, get approval of the board of directors and then tendering begins. All of this takes at least a year or so.”

Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, New Delhi Municipal Council, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal were the winners of the first round of the Smart City Challenge competition 2016.

The selection of cities is done in two stages. In the first, 100 smart cities were distributed among the states and UTs on the basis of equitable criteria. In the second stage, each potential city had prepared its Smart City Proposals, which contained the model chosen (retrofitting or redevelopment or greenfield development or a mix thereof) and additionally include a pan-city dimension.

A total investment of ~201,981 crore has been proposed by the 99 cities chosen so far. Projects focusing on revamping an identified area (area-based projects) are estimated to cost ~1,63,138 crore, the government said in a statement in May. Smart initiatives across the city (pan-city initiatives) account for the remaining ~38,841 crore of investment.

Projects worth ~85,464 crore have been tendered so far, including those for which work orders have been issued and on which work is complete, the official cited above said. Projects worth ~40,000 crore are in the pipeline.

Under the mission, setting up of integrated command and control centres (ICCC) for each city is a vital step. At present, 11 cities have operational ICCCs; centres in 29 cities are under construction; while tenders for 21 more have been processed, officials said. The ICCCs are designed to enable authorities to monitor the status of various amenities in real time. The centres will control and monitor online water and power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and Internet infrastructure.