Misc

Smart Cities

Smart Cities
Background
Urban cities hold 31% of India's present population and contribute 63% of GDP (as of Census 2011). Urban areas are expected to house 40% of India's population and contribute 75% of India's GDP by 2030, which requires comprehensive development of physical, institutional, social and economic infrastructure. The Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting initiative by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country and making them citizen-friendly and sustainable, boosting economic growth and improving the standard of life of through local development and using new innovations to achieve all infrastructural goals.

The 100 Smart Cities Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25th June 2016. West Bengal is the only state that is not participating in the mission. Mumbai and Navi Mumbai have also withdrawn from it.

What is the aim of the Smart Cities initiative?
The basic objective of Smart Cities is improving the quality of life and leading to economic growth, which is achieved by using digital and information technologies, comprehensive urban planning, public-private partnerships, and judicial policy decisions.

The objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and provide good quality of life, a sustainable environment and application of 'Smart' solutions and support sustainable and inclusive development.

The strategy of the mission
The Smart Cities initiative is to be achieved through a number of steps and processes of urban planning and development. These steps have been discussed briefly as follows:

•Smart solutions are to be applied to all major urban areas for a comprehensive step-by-step process of development. These solutions will aim at tackling various social, economic and environmental concerns faced by the cities.

•A complete redevelopment of the cities through the application of core infrastructure developments.

•Ensuring a sufficient supply of water for all purposes of domestic and developmental activities.

•Assured electricity supply and facility of sufficient power backup systems.

•A marked emphasis on proper sanitation in order to promote health, hygiene and environmental stability.

•Efficiency in public transport and urban mobility by proper monitoring and better roads.

•Making housing affordable for the less-privileged sections of society.

•Efficient digitalization and connectivity to encourage technological advancement.

•Ensuring the safety and security of all citizens, especially women, children and the elderly.

•Emphasis on sound education opportunities.

What Is the extent and coverage of the initiative?
The Smart Cities mission will cover 100 cities across India. At present, it is set from the Financial Year 2014-15 to the Financial Year 2019-20, but it may be continued further by the orders of the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).

The 100 Smart Cities have been distributed among the States and UTs on the basis of equitable criteria, which gives equal weight to the urban population of the State/UT and the number of statutory towns in these areas. Based on this, each State/UT is set to have at least one Smart City. The reallocation and evaluation of all development work related to the Smart Cities are to be monitored by the Ministry of Urban Development.

How will the mission be financed?
The Smart City Mission is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS). The State/UT governments are to provide financial assistance for the development of Smart Cities under their respective jurisdictions.

In the case of this mission, for the first time, a MoUD program is using the 'Challenge' or competition method to select cities for funding and using a strategy of area-based development. This captures the spirit of 'competitive and cooperative federalism'. Cities compete at the state level with other cities or with cities within the state and the state-level winner competes at the national level Smart city challenge. Cities obtaining the highest scores are brought under the purview of the mission.

As of January 2019, projects worth Rs 2,350 crore have been completed and projects worth 20,852 crore are under progress. 99 cities have been selected under the mission with an outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore.




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