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Not going to stop at 100 smart cities: Hardeep Singh Puri

Money spent on urban rejuvenation by the Modi government since 2015 stands at around Rs 8.6 lakh crore, or 6 times more than the amount spent under 10 years of the UPA government, says Housing and Urban Affairs Minister.


The NDA government has spent around Rs 8.6 lakh crore on urban rejuvenation, six times the amount spent during the 10-year UPA rule (Rs 1.5 lakh crore), and is not going to stop at just 100 smart cities, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at the Second National Apex Conference of CEOs of Smart Cities held in the New Delhi on February 27.

The rapid rate of progress of the mission is an answer to the 'cynics and naysayers who doubted what we are doing'. "The amount spent on urban rejuvenation in the 10-year rule of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), from 2004 to 2014, was around Rs 1.5 lakh crore. The money spent between June 2015 and February is six times that amount at around Rs 8.6 lakh crore. That's the difference in terms of scale and intensity," he said.

"Till September 2017, projects worth Rs 21,500 crore were tendered. The value of the projects tendered since then is Rs 1.22 lakh crore. This is only the beginning. As we become a $10 trillion economy by 2030, we are not going to stop at 100 cities, we cannot. These 100 cities will become the template that this is how you do it," Puri said.

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He also said there is need for people to make behavioural changes, saying smart cities need smart citizens. "Together, Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) {PMAY (U)}, Smart Cities Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), represent an extraordinary tapestry of patterns to transform lives of the people, breathe new life into the cities and most importantly, bring about behavioural change in the people,” he said.

He also expressed disappointment over commuters not using a helmet in smart cities like Surat and Rajkot, adding why can't there be a norm that petrol pumps won't give fuel unless the occupants wear helmets.

"Integrated Command and Control Centres becoming operational in 15 cities has resulted in enhanced governance, management of traffic, law enforcement, improved grievance redressal and reduced crime on city streets and public spaces,” he said as he released the National Urban Innovation Stacks book, launched the DataSmart Cities Strategy Assessment Framework 2019 and Open Data (IUDX) portals.

He also launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework 2019 and the Ease of Living Index 2019. Platforms and microsites on Municipal Performance Index 2019, National Urban Learning Platform, India Urban Data Exchange and Cities GDP Measure were also launched.

Kunal Kumar, Mission Director (Smart Cities), said five Cs are at the core of the Smart Cities mission -- citizens, competition, convergence of resources, capacity and technology, comprehensive solutions and collaboration.

“It is for the first time 100 cities, representing 100 million people, have got together. As many as 400 million people contribute 65 percent of GDP and 17 percent of this comes from the 100 smart cities. The smart cities proposals from these 100 cities total 5,151 projects and a total investment of Rs 205,000 crore, which is close to a percent of India’s GDP. That is the investment smart cities mission is making in these 100 smart cities,” he said.

“More than Rs 1 lakh crore worth of projects have been tendered. On February 24,  the figure crossed Rs 1.23 lakh crore. We have tendered more than 60 percent of the projects. Today, we have reached close to Rs 75,000 crore worth of work orders. We would be reaching Rs 1.06 lakh crore of works started on ground by June. As many as 12 cities have completed 90 percent of tendering, 31 cities have done over 71 percent tendering, and 50 cities have done over 50 percent tendering.

"The 10 states that have performed incredibly well include Jharkhand, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Karnataka. These states have tendered more than 60 percent of their projects already,” he said.

 

On the occasion, Puri gave away the Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards (SCDPA) --100 days challenge in 100 Smart Cities. The objective of these awards is to guide, motivate, recognise and reward the Smart Cities for promoting digital payments and carrying out innovative payment initiatives in their respective cities. Awards were also distributed for City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) challenge.  

Agartala won the CITIIS award for Howrah River Front Development. Surat won CITIIS award for creating the Wild Valley Bio-Diversity Park as the city’s lungs. Ujjain won the CITIIS award for implementation of Mahakal Rudra Sagar Integrated Development project. Amritsar won the CITIIS award for development of Sustainable and Green Public Transportation. Dehradun won the CITIIS award for implementation of Child Friendly and Computer Centric Sustainable Mobility Plan. Bhubaneswar won the CITIIS award for implementation of the B-Active Project. Puducherry won the CITIIS award for implementation of the scheme Our Neighbourhood is Your Neighbourhood Too.

Amaravati won the CITIIS award for providing Basic Infrastructure Development for Low-Income Settlements. Visakhapatnam won the CITIIS award for implementation of Social Inclusion through Modernising Public Schools as Smart Campus.

Ujjain and Solapur won the award for the Fastest Growing Smart Cities focusing on digital payments in the 5-10 lakh category. Diu won the award for the Fastest Growing Smart City focusing on digital payments in the 0-5 lakh category. Ahmedabad and Pimpri-Chinchwad won the award for the Best Digital Payments Innovators in the above 10 lakh category. Ujjain and Bhubaneswar won the award for the Best Digital Payments Innovators in the 5-10 lakh category.

Port Blair won the award for Best Digital Payments Innovator in the 0-5 lakh category. Bhopal and Pune received the award for the Best Digital Payments Adopters in the above 10 lakh category in the Digital Payment Awards. Ujjain received the award for the Best Digital Payments Adopter in the 5-10 lakh category in the Digital Payment Awards. Amaravati and NDMC won the award for Best Digital Payments Adopter in the 0-5 lakh category of the Smart City Digital Payment Awards.

About the Smart Cities programme

Under the Smart Cities programme, 100 Smart Cities have been selected in four rounds based on an all India competition. All 100 cities have incorporated Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).

The Smart Cities Mission was launched on June 25, 2015. The first list of 20 cities announced on January 28, 2016. The fast track list of 13 cities was announced on May 24, 2016. The second list of 27 cities was announced on September 20, 2016. The third list of 30 cities announced on June 23, 2017 and the final list was announced in January 2018.

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.

The mission aims to tackle problems faced in urban areas such as transportation, energy supply, governance, basic urban infrastructure services and overall quality of life.

It aims at providing technology solutions such as surveillance systems to reduce crime and improve safety of residents. Projects related to e-governance, mobility, integrated traffic management and solid waste management are also part of the mission. The process starts with the formation of implementing agency, a SPV, promoted by the state/Union Territory and the urban local body, with a 50 percent equity shareholding each.

The initiative is two-pronged—greenfield (new) cities get built smart since a large component of their infrastructure is yet to come up, and brownfield or existing cities with well-established economic and social engines get 'smartened' through incremental improvements in existing infrastructure.

Under the mission, each state had to identify qualifying cities for central funds based on a proposal. Once shortlisted, cities received a grant of Rs 100 crore per year for five years.

vandana.ramanni@nw18.com
First Published on Feb 27, 2019 10:06 am
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