India Smart Cities Awards 2020: UP best smart state, Surat, Indore best cities
Uttar Pradesh is the top performer among all Indian states in rankings given by the Centre’s Smart Cities Mission project, followed by Madhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the Union government said on Friday, releasing the results of the India Smart Cities Awards Contest (ISAC) 2020.
Among cities, Indore and Surat were adjudged joint winners, and Chandigarh was ranked first among Union territories, the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs said.
The awards were announced on Friday to commemorate six years of the central government’s three initiatives to spur urban development: Smart Cities Mission (SCM), Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).
These rankings were arrived at by the government on the basis of several parameters such as social aspects, governance, culture, urban environment, sanitation, economy, built environment, water, urban mobility. For the year of the pandemic, additional parameters of sustainable business model of Integrated Command and Control Centres and innovation in Covid-19 management were also counted for the awards.
According to officials aware of the matter, UP won the best state award for shortlisting seven more cities apart from the existing 10 to transform them into smart cities: Ayodhya, Mathura, Meerut, Shahjahanpur, Firozabad, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad).
“It showed good physical and financial progress in some cities such as Agra, Varanasi, Lucknow, Prayagraj. UP was also able to complete the transfer of state supporting funds to cities... Lucknow and Ghaziabad also issued municipal bonds last year, becoming the first cities in North India to do so, in a Covid year,” a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Surat has been adjudged the best city for the second consecutive year, while the categories for the best state and Covid-19 management did not exist in the previous rankings.
“The contest is an opportunity for smart cities to showcase their most innovative, impactful projects and for us to recognise and learn from their best practices. This year’s best proposals range from the use of Integrated Command and Control Centres in governance or in response to Covid-19, enhancing safety and security of citizens, intelligent traffic management, innovative use of open spaces, enhancement of urban environment, innovations in the improvement of urban mobility, smart water management, waste-to-energy generation and many others,” Union housing affairs minister Hardeep Puri said at an online event on Friday.
The Union ministry noted Indore’s consistent top performance in the list, saying in a statement: “Indore has been a forerunner among the smart cities in the past year and has consistently featured among the top ranked cities in the year 2020. The city is implementing projects worth ₹5,099.6 crores under the Smart Cities Mission... The smart city has made visible gains in a timebound manner.,” the ministry said.
On Surat’s ranking, it said: “Having achieved a certain degree of success in providing essential urban infrastructure and services to its citizens, Surat has shifted focus towards using technology for operational improvements.”
The urban affairs ministry on Friday also underscored the importance of cities across India using Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) as war rooms for Covid-19 management. So far, 69 cities in India have operationalised these ICCCs under the Smart Cities Mission and these are being developed across all 100 smart cities, the ministry said.
Agartala, Indore and Vadodara were ranked best for the sustainable business model of ICCCs.
At present under Smart Cities Mission, 5,924 projects worth ₹1,78,500 crore have been tendered so far and 2,665 projects worth ₹45,080 crore have been fully completed, data by the ministry shows.