National

100 cities to turn smart

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most favoured projects — 100 smart cities spread across the country — and a new urban renewal mission named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, replacing the existing one named after Jawaharlal Nehru, with a total outlay of nearly Rs. 1,00,000 crore.



The meeting, chaired by Mr. Modi, approved the Smart Cities Mission for development of 100 smart cities and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) of 500 cities, which replaces the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, with outlays of Rs. 48,000 crore and Rs. 50,000 crore, respectively, said highly placed sources in the Urban Development Ministry.



The smart cities mission is aimed at “recasting the urban landscape of the country by making cities more liveable and inclusive, besides driving economic growth,” Ministry sources said.



Each selected city under the ambitious scheme would get Central assistance of Rs. 100 crore a year for five years. The mission aims to release funding depending on multi-pronged progress of the projects and makes citizen participation an integral part of the planning of these cities.



Redrawing Urban Landscape

Centre approves outlay of nearly Rs. 1 lakh crore to make cities more livable.

  • » Rs. 48,000 crore for Smart Cities Mission
  • » 100 smart cities to receive Rs. 100 crore per year for five years
  • » Rs. 50,000 crore for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation
  • » 500 cities and towns, with population of one lakh and above, to receive funds in three installments
  • » Over Rs. 2 lakh crore to flow into urban areas over the next five years

Raising funds

  • » Special Purpose Vehicle to be created for each city to implement Smart City action plan
  • » Public-Private Partnership model to be used by States and urban local bodies to mobilise private investments


States will get at least a smart city each

Urban Development Ministry sources said the States get the flexibility of designing schemes based on the needs of identified smart cities and in their execution and monitoring.

“States will only submit State Annual Action Plans to the Centre for broad concurrence based on which funds will be released. In a significant departure from JNNURM, the Central Government will not appraise individual projects,” the sources said.

Top Ministry sources said the two projects together would get at least Rs. 200,000 crore in the next five years because the cities are expected to raise their own matching resources.

The Cabinet also approved Central funding under AMRUT to the projects sanctioned under JNNURM and not completed. JNNURM projects sanctioned during 2005-2012 and which have achieved physical progress of 50 per cent or more will be supported till March 2017.

“It would have been a national waste to stop the funding for projects that are over-half completed,” a Ministry official involved with the decision said.

Nearly 400 such projects will get balance funding for completion. Smart City aspirants will be selected through a ‘City Challenge Competition’ intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to achieve the mission objectives.

Each State will shortlist a certain number of smart city aspirants as per the norms to be indicated and they will prepare smart city proposals for further evaluation for extending Central support.

According to the decision taken on Wednesday, all States will get at least one such smart city.

A Ministry official said 10 per cent of Budget allocation will be given to States and UTs as incentive based on achievement of reforms during the previous year. A reform matrix with timelines would be circulated to States in the guidelines.

“We are insisting on a professional municipal cadre replacing the current municipal officialdom. That will usher in a new paradigm in modern municipal management,” he added.

This mission will be implemented in 500 cities and towns each with a population of one lakh and above, some cities situated on stems of main rivers, a few capital cities and important cities located in hilly areas, islands and tourist areas.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 6:22:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cabinet-nod-for-smart-city-project-atal-rejuvenation-mission/article7154217.ece

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