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Smart City Mission

31% of the current population of India is accommodated by cities and it contributes 63% of the GDP (as per Census 2011). 40% of the current population is accommodated by urban areas and it contributes to 75% of the GDP of India by 2030. A comprehensive development of economic, social, institutional and physical infrastructure is required for it. All are significant in improving life quality and attracting investment and people, setting a virtuous cycle in motion of development and growth. A step to take in that direction is development of the smart cities.

The mission of smart cities is a new initiative and innovative idea of Indian Government to bring economic growth along with improving people’s life quality by harnessing technology and enabling local development as a means for creating smart results for citizens.

Smart City

The focus of smart cities is on the most important needs and on greatest of opportunities for improving lives. The approach range tapped are policy change, public-private partnerships, best practices of urban planning and information and digital technologies in order to make difference. People are always put first.

In the mission of smart cities approach, the objective lies to promote the cities that give core infrastructure and provide a decent life quality to the citizens, sustainable environment, clean and application of the ‘smart’ solutions. Inclusive and sustainable development is the focus and the idea lies to look at the compact areas and create a duplicate model that will be like the light house for other aspiring cities. The mission of smart cities is meant to give examples which can be done both outside and within the smart city and catalysing similar smart cities creation in many regions and parts of country.

Smart City Mission Strategy

  1. Greenfield
  2. Redevelopment
  3. Retrofitting
  4. Develop areas in steps for 3 models of the area-based developments
  5. Pan-city initiative that should have at least 1 smart solution applied city-wide

The Core Infrastructure Elements

  1. Assured supply of electricity
  2. Adequate supply of water
  3. Sanitation, including the solid waste management
  4. Education and health
  5. Sustainable environment
  6. Robust IT digitalization and connectivity
  7. Security and safety of citizens especially elderly, children and women
  8. Good governance, and especially citizen participation and e-governance
  9. Affordable housing for the poor especially
  10. Efficient public transport and urban mobility

Coverage and Duration

100 cities will be covered in the mission and 5 years (FY2015-16 to FY2019-29) will be the duration. Thereafter the mission might be continued in the evaluation light which is to be done by Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and also incorporating its learning’s into the same mission.

How Many Smart Cities in Each State/UT?

100 smart cities have been distributed among UTs and the States on equitable criterion basis. Equal weightage is given by the formula to the UT/ State’s urban population and the statutory towns in UT/State. Each UT/State based on the formula will have some potential smart cities number with each UT/State having 1 at least. The potential smart cities number from each UT/State will be set at indicated number. This formula of distribution has been used for funds allocation also under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation – AMRUT.

The smart cities distribution will be again reviewed after 2 years of the mission’s implementation. Based on performance assessment of ULBs/States in the challenge, few of the remaining re-allocation of potential smart cities amongst the States might be required to be finished by Ministry of Urban Development.

Financing of Smart Cities

The operation of smart city mission will be done as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) and financial support is proposed by the Central Government to an extent of 48000 crores to the mission over 5 years i.e. on Rs. 100 crores average per city each year. On the matching basis, an equal amount would be contributed by ULB/State, therefore about 1 lakh crore rupees of ULB/Government funds shall be made available for the development of Smart Cities.

Convergence with Other Government Schemes

Comprehensive development arises is the areas by the integration of economic, social, institutional and physical infrastructure. Several Government sectoral schemes are covered in this goal in-spite of the different path. There is a very strong complementarily available between the smart cities and AMRUT mission while achieving the urban transformation. While Smart cities mission follows the area-based strategy, project-based strategy is followed by AMRUT.

Similarly, huge benefits are derived by seeking other State Government and Central Schemes/Programs coverage with the mission of smart cities. At the state of planning only, the cities should seek for convergence with AMRUT in SCP, National Heritage City Development, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and the Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) - it is an external website opening in new window, Skill development, digital India, construction of museums that the Culture Department funds, housing for all and other programs that are connected to the social infrastructure like culture, education and health.

What are the Challenges?

  1. This is 1st time, a competition method or ‘challenge’ is used by MoUD programme for using and funding a strategy of the area-based development to select the cities. Cooperative and competitive federalism spirit is captured by it.
  2. ULBs and States will play a supportive role in Smart cities’ development. Smart vision and leadership at this level along with the ability to stay decisive will be the important factors that will determine the mission’s success.
  3. Understanding greenfield development, redevelopment and retrofitting concepts by the implementers, other stakeholders and policy makers at different stages will need capacity assistance. Investments in resources and time majorly will be made during the phase of planning prior to the participation in challenge. It is different from the approach of conventional DPR.
  4. Smart people are required for smart cities mission who participates actively in reforms and governance. Citizen’s involvement is more than ceremonial participation in the governance. The smart people participation would be enabled through ICT use, especially the tools based on mobile by Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

India Smart Cities Challenge

The smart cities challenge of India- External website opening in  new window is a new completion that is designed to support and inspire municipal officials due to the reason that they help in the development of smart proposals for the improving the lives of the residents. In the 1st round, 100 cities would participate with the best of proposals receiving funds from Ministry of Urban Development.