100 Smart Cities in India in Next 5 yrs – Modi Government

New Delhi : On Wednesday, the two flagship schemes proposed by Modi government were approved by the Cabinet.  These two schemes are 100 smart cities and urban rejuvenation programme which has been set for 500 towns and cities.  The main aim is recasting the urban landscape where good efforts would be made in making such areas more inclusive as well as more livable at the same time thereby driving economic growth as well. A total central outlay of Rs 98,000 crores have been executed for these schemes for the next five years.
According to this scheme works would be undertaken with one lakh or more population for smaller cities and towns. This scheme has been named as Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) which has been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It has been known that a total spending of the amount of Rs 50,000 crores would be done for this scheme.  According to this smart scheme a competition, “city challenge” would be held for each city selected through it. It has also been said that a central assistance of Rs 100 crores would be provided per year for a period of 5 years. So in order to begin with nearly 20 cities, the state governments would make the selection after the names of cities are forwarded which they want to nominate in the course of time.
According to a ministry spokesperson, there would soon be a finalization for the criteria of the competition and financing would be done according to the ability of the cities in performing as well as achieving mission objectives in the right way.  It is because of the promotion of adopting smart solutions for the right and the best use of available resources, assets as well as infrastructure that the smart cities have been come up. It has aimed to enhance the quality of urban life thereby helping to provide with clean as well as sustainable environment.
Special focus would be made on clean sanitation, water supply, affordable housing for the poor, efficient transportation including citizens safety, e-governance, education, robust IT connectivity and so on.  It has also been known that special emphasis would be made for the participation of the citizen in order to prioritize and plan urban interventions. According to a ministry official, the two missions are found to be interlinked.
AMRUT would provide a clear focus on ensuring basic infrastructure services like transportation, storm water drains, water supply, development of parks and green spaces with the perfect and special provisions to meet the needs of children. It would also go a long way in promoting urban reforms like devolving funds, e-governance, reviewing building bye-laws including water and energy audit,  improvisation of collecting municipal taxes and so on.
For cities and towns having a population of up to 10 lakhs, central assistance would be provided to the extent of 50% of the project costs.  On the other hand, those with a population of more than 10 lakhs, it would make the provision for one-third of the project cost.  Mention can be made that JNNURM project would also be covered by this scheme making it a very interesting one.  So let us wait and watch whether these schemes would really help in the growth and development of the country in the best way!

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