In 4th year, mission Smart Cities sees big gains
The ministry of housing and urban affairs would now be showcasing the big ideas in the successful cities to others so that these can be replicated.
Closely monitored by Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the mission has seen a complete turnaround since June 2018. The mission was launched by Modi on June 25, 2015. The number of projects completed has seen a quantum jump of 182% over one year. The projects completed have jumped from 318 in June 2018 to 897 this month. Even private participation in the mission is increasing. At the outset, Smart City Mission had set a target of financing 21% of the total mission cost through private participation. So far, 15% of the projects under implementation are under public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Some cities have shown better progress than others. In the final rankings of smart cities which have stolen a march on others, Ahmedabad is ranked number 1, displacing Surat from the top spot. Of the top 10 cities, three (Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara) are in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat. Many cities have smartened up even when they had been chosen much after the first batch of 20 cities in January 2016. Of the top 10 cities, a majority six have been chosen in second, third and fourth rounds of competition which were finalised in February 2017, June 2017 and January 2018, respectively. Ranchi, which is ranked at all-India number 5, was chosen in round 2 in February 2017. Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi (ranked 10), Vellore (Ranked 9), Vadodara (Ranked 8) and Nagpur (Ranked 2) are round 3 cities declared in June 2017. Tiruppur (ranked 6) has been the highest and fastest climber and has caught up with all cities within 18 months of being chosen in round 4 in January 2018.
As Modi 2.0 begins spadework for a five-year vision document and a more immediate 100-day agenda, the urban renewal sector would be at the heart of the government’s urban reforms agenda. The ministry of housing and urban affairs would now be showcasing the big ideas in the successful cities to others so that these can be replicated.