In an exclusive press conference held at New Delhi, chaired by the Minister of Urban Development Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, 20 urban areas of the country have been declared to be revamped into future Smart Cities. Out of the 98 cities declared back on 25th June, 2015, 97 cities had made it to the ‘Smart City Challenge Mission’ out of which 20 have been finally chosen in its phase 1. On the basis of the ‘marks’ achieved, 20 declared cities in the descending order are as follows:
- Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
- Pune, Maharashtra
- Jaipur, Rajasthan
- Surat, Gujarat
- Kochi, Kerala
- Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
- Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
- Sholapur, Maharashtra
- Davangere, Karnataka
- Indore, Madhya Pradesh
- New Delhi Municipal Council
- Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
- Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
- Belagavi, Karnataka
- Udaipur, Rajasthan
- Guwahati, Assam
- Chennai, Tamil Nadu
- Ludhiana, Punjab
- Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively or, 40 and 40 cities in case the final two cities get declared. Also, an investment of Rs. 50, 802 crore has been proposed for the 20 winner Smart Cities and towns for the five-year tenure. There are 5 capital cities among the 20 winner cities announced. To qualify for the competition, states and local administrations had to provide ‘smart answers’ to a model with 43 questions. Factors for the same included, feasibility, cost effectiveness, citizen participation, result orientation, strategic planning and several others that accounted towards the ‘100 marks’.
Mr. Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing
Smart India Mission is finally underway, and it is good to see that through a tough series of competition, first 20 deserving future Smart Cities have made out. The capital region of the country, NDMC is also amongst the phase 1 list. With this announcement, there will now be a need of Smart Infrastructure to complement the Smart Cities, and the announcements of Union Budget are much more eagerly awaited.
Mr. Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI-Western U.P. & Director, Gulshan Homz
With the first set of Smart Cities list declared, the competition for the next set is definitely underway. Uttar Pradesh’s cities missing out this time is quite a setback as there is already a lot of scope for Smart development. But for the next set, Uttar Pradesh’s shortlisted cities will certainly make it there. Overall, the work on the promises and announcements of the last year has begun and very soon, India will become Smartly visible on the global map as well. To complete this dream, the government must now take this Budget Session very seriously for the real estate sector, as Smart Cities Mission will heavily rely on private sector’s contribution.
Mr. Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing
The dream of next level infrastructure and standards of living is not much out of reach now with Smart Cities Mission becoming reality. Phase 1 has given a set of 20 cities which will now strengthen the competition for the remaining cities. All eyes are now fixed on the Union Budget as the decisions during the same will somewhere directly affect the development of Smart Cities. Land acquisition, Single window clearance and GST have become more crucial now, as proper and timely Smart development will require the passage of these.
Mr. Vikas Bhasin, MD, Saya Group
For the country in general, it is a huge news as many were not anticipating promptness and seriousness of the government towards this. But still, somewhere we felt that Uttar Pradesh’s cities should have been a part of the first phase, as it acquired the most cities shortlisted during the announcement last year. The focus now shifts towards the upcoming Union Budget where government’s decisions for the realty sector will play the most vital role for Smart development of the cities in future.
Mr. Rakesh Yadav, Chairman, Antriksh India
The declared cities in future will be well equipped with basic infrastructure, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity and e-governance mechanisms. The standards of living will be enhanced drastically which will promote sustainable development as well. The government must now work diligently for upbringing of the private sector through important decisions in the Union Budget such as, Industry Status, Single window clearance and execution of RERA for the realty sector.
Mr. Rajesh Goyal, Vice President CREDAI-Western U.P. & MD, RG Group
With this news, finally the much awaited Smart India Mission is underway albeit, it is disheartening that none of the U.P. cities made it to the top 20 list. Now, since the list is out and the proposed budget announced, it is even more important that real estate sector gets into the deserving limelight in the Union Budget 2016-17 through Industry Status, Single window clearance and GST, as these bills will hold key to the proper implementation of the Smart India Mission.
Amit Modi, Director, ABA CORP and Vice President CREDAI Western UP
While we are extremely happy at the commencement of this initiative including the list of first 20 smart cities that has qualified for Central Government funding, we would have hoped that The National Capital Region of Delhi which at the top state of these funding would have made to the list. While New Delhi is there amongst first 20 cities we hope areas like Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Yamuna Expressway and Gurgaon also find their place in the next list. It will greatly enhance the much needed infrastructure requirement of the area as we believe that smart cities of New Delhi surrounded by underdeveloped infrastructure will also nullify the bottom up approach that has been the key planning principle under the Smart City mission.
Smart Cities are intended to enhance the quality of urban life by providing a clean and sustainable environment with 24 hour water and power supply. Sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, affordable housing for poor, and robust IT connectivity among others are essential features of the project. Migration from rural areas has put a great burden on the existing civic infrastructure in cities, posing a major challenge for the town planners. There was an urgent need for development of urban infrastructure as population has increased many times in cities. While 20 cities are likely to be shortlisted for the Smart City project in the first phase, 40 will be selected in the next stage to be followed by 40 more later.