Modi’s Gandhinagar, Jammu and Patna among 30 names on latest smart cities list

Fourteen of the 30 cities are in BJP-ruled states. The Modi government’s ambitious plan to develop 100 smart cities was launched in June 2015.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2017 10:34 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Gujarat,Karnal
Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu announcing names on the Smart Cities list on June 23, 2017.(Official Twitter Page)

Gandhinagar, the capital of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, Karnal in Haryana, Allahabad, Aligarh and Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar’s capital Patna are among the 30 urban centres that were chosen on Friday to be developed as smart cities.

Friday’s list takes the total number of cities selected so far under the National Democratic Alliance government’s flagship urban modernisation programme to 90. The remaining 10 cities are likely to selected by early next year.

Modi launched his government’s ambitious plan to develop 100 smart cities in June 2015. Meant to change the way urban India lives, smart cities will enjoy uninterrupted power and water supplies, internet connectivity, e-governance along with quality infrastructure.

Over 50% of cities from BJP-ruled states and allies

In the third list, 14 of the 30 cities are in the states ruled by the Prime Minister’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Three cities from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, two from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, one each from Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh have been selected.

Patna and Muzaffarpur, Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru, Himachal Pradesh’s capital Shimla and Mizoram’s capital Aizawl and Puducherry are the four cities from Congress-ruled states that made the cut.

The twin cities of Jammu and Kashmir – Jammu and Srinagar – have also been chosen.

Cities fare poorly on socio-economic indicators

Many cities in the list have inadequate civic amenities such as access to treated water, sanitation and drainage facilities. Literacy level in cities such as Aligarh is low as 68.5% as against the national average of 74%.

Access to tap water is an abysmal 23.4% in Muzaffarpur, a little over 41% in Aligarh and 46.7 % in Satna, according to Census 2011 data. Urban poverty ratio is very high in cities like Satna.

How smart cities were selected

The process of selecting smart cities involves two stages. The first occurs at the level of states, which select their own candidates following a competition. The nominated cities then compete with each other nationally.

The distribution of smart cities across India is determined by a formula worked out by the urban development ministry, which weighs equally a state’s population and its number of cities.

The Centre will provide Rs 48,000 crore over the five years for the smart cities mission. A matching fund will be contributed by a combination of states and the private sector. Each city will get Rs 100 crore per year.

Work on new projects has already started in 20 cities that were selected in January 2016, but the 40 cities that were selected in July and September haven’t started yet.

List of cities

2.Tamil NaduTiruppur, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi
3.Uttar PradeshAllahabad, Aligarh, Jhansi
4.GujaratGandhinagar, Dahod, Rajkot
6.Madhya PradeshSatna, Sagar
7.BiharPatna, Muzaffarpur
8.ChhattisgarhNaya Raipur, Bilaspur
10.Himachal PradeshShimla
14.Jammu & KashmirJammu, Srinagar
16.Arunachal PradeshPasighat
19.Andhra PradeshAmaravati

First Published: Jun 23, 2017 11:25 IST