Indian government on Tuesday announced the third list of 27 cities to be financed under the flagship Smart City Mission. The temple town of Varanasi, which is also Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency, made the cut to the third list.
As he announced the list, Indian urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that a total investment of Rs 1,44, 742 crores has been proposed by 60 cities under smart city plans, Indian news agency ANI reported.
"Sixty three cities have so far participated in three rounds of competition, 27 of 63 participating cities have qualified. 27 new batch of smart cities are from 12 states,"
According to the government, the mission aims to develop 100 cities across the country by making them citizen-friendly and sustainable. The scheme aims to "drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens".
The list of the 27 Smart cities includes: Agra, Ajmer, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Gwalior, Hubli-Dharwad, Jalandhar, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Kanpur, Kohima, Kota, Madurai, Mangaluru, Nagpur, Namchi ,Nashik, Rourkela, Salem, Shivamogga, Thane, Thanjavur, Tirupati,Tumakuru, Ujjain, Vadodara, Varanasi and Vellore.
As per the Mission guidelines, as many as 40 cities have to be announced during this financial year, as the government had already announced 13 cities in May.
The Indian government in January had already announced a list of 20 cities for partial funding to be developed as smart cities, which would have facilities such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity and e-governance, among other facilities.
Each city will receive an assistance of Rs 200 crores from the central government in the first year and Rs 100 crores over the three subsequent financial years.
State governments and respective urban local bodies will also match the Centre's contribution. The Government aims to transform about 100 cities by 2019-20, with the Centre providing financial support of Rs. 48,000 crores over five years.