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Smart Cities Mission: Shillong finally selected as 100th smart city

Total proposed investment for the 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission is around Rs 2 lakh crore. With this selection of all 100 cities is now complete

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya has been announced as the 100th smart city of India. With the selection of Shillong, the total proposed investment in all 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission is around Rs 2 lakh crore.

Till date, 99 cities had been selected after four rounds of competition. With the announcement, selection of all 100 smart cities is complete under the Smart Cities Mission.

Previously, 20 cities were selected in January 2016, 13 cities in May 2016, 27 cities in September 2016, 30 cities in June 2017 and nine cities in January 2018. With the selection of Shillong, the total proposed investment in the finally selected 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission would be Rs 2,05,018 crore, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said.

The Centre had announced the final list of nine smart cities in January this year and had kept the slot for the 10th city, Shillong, vacant as the city could not submit its proposal on time due to elections.

Nine cities that made it to the smart cities list in January, included three from Uttar Pradesh – Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur, Bihar Sharif (Bihar), Erode (Tamil Nadu), Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Havelli), Daman and Diu, Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) and Kavaratti (Lakshadweep). Shillong was the 10th city to make it to the list but could not submit its proposal.

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The demand of the Meghalaya government all along had been that the Centre should share the burden of investment by adopting the 90:10 ratio (90 percent by the Centre and 10 percent by the state).

The Centre had categorically refused to give in to the demand as the funding pattern for the smart city project is on a 50:50 basis between the Centre and the states.

Now, the state has agreed to the 50:50 share pattern, sources told Moneycontrol.

“There is a new government there. We will wait for their proposal. All North East states wanted funding for the smart cities mission in the 90:10 ratio. We had clarified to all the states that this is not a general scheme, the structure of the scheme is 50:50 between the Centre and the state. There is no exception and there will be no exception.

"This is not an AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme that has a 90:10 structure or for that matter the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan where the allocation of funds is in the ratio of 90:10. We have clarified to Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and all the North Eastern states that this configuration in the funding pattern cannot change. We will give them another chance to submit their proposal, if it does not come in within the next three to four months, we will give the slot to the next state,” sources in the ministry had said.

In the past, Tamil Nadu had its smart cities proposals delayed on account of a leadership crisis, yet the slots had been kept vacant and submitted by them subsequently.

Till date, 99 cities have been selected under the NDA government’s flagship program, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015. Among the states, West Bengal has chosen not to participate in the competition to choose smart cities. Only one city from the state – New Town – was selected when the second list was announced in September 2016 but with the state deciding to walk out of the program soon after, there has been no progress on the ground.

Smart cities are 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. The selection of smart cities is based on the scores cities get for carrying out urban reforms in areas including sanitation and governance. Cities that scored the highest have been picked for the project, to be implemented over a 10-year period.

The 100 Smart Cities Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015. Under the mission, the Centre allocates Rs 500 crore to each of the cities for implementing projects proposed by it. This amount is matched with a grant of the same amount by the respective state.

Vandana.ramnani@nw18.com
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 20, 2018 05:51 pm
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