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Govt. Announces List of 98 Smart Cities; Bengaluru Surprisingly Ignored; UP,TN Get Maximum Selections

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Urban Development Ministry has finally released the list of 98 smart cities, which will kick off the next wave of planned urbanization in India. As we had shared in June, Rs 48,000 crore has been allocated by the Govt. to build 100 smart cities, over a period of 5 years.

2 cities are still short of this list, which will be finalized later, as UP and Jammu & Kashmir was still undecided on their selections.

Overall, UP with 13 selections, is the state with maximum number of smart cities in the list; followed by Tamil Nadu with 12 cities, Maharashtra with 10 cities, Madhya Pradesh with 7, and three each from Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

Surprisingly, India’s Silicon Valley: Bengaluru has not been included in the smart city list, along with Patna, Kolkata and Shimla. Omitting Bengaluru is shocking as the city will soon have Asia’s first Internet of Things hub.

However, bypassing these state capitals show that the selection was not biased towards existing status or reputation of the city, but rather on the objectiveness and adherence to the selection criteria which was shared in June.

Some major cities which have been included in the list are:

New Delhi, Pune, Navi Mumbai, Nasik, Thane, Greater Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Panaji, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mangaluru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Kochi, Shillong, Jaipur, Lucknow, Dehradun and Chennai.

Some interesting facts about the selection:

  • 35 cities have population between one lakh and 5 lakh
  • 21 cities have population between 5 lakh and 10 lakh
  • 25 cities have population between 10 lakh and 25 lakh
  • 5 cities have population between 25 lakh and 50 lakh
  • 4 cities: Chennai, Greater Hyderabad, Greater Mumbai and Ahmedabad have population more than 50 lakh
  • Total of 12 crore people will directly benefit from this mega project, which represents 35% of India’s urban population (2011 census)
  • 9 state capitals were omitted from the list: Patna, Itanagar, Shimla, Banglaore, Daman, Thiruvanathapuram, Puducherry, Gangtok and Kohima
  • In the next couple of days, Central Govt. will release funds of Rs 2 crore each for these 98 cities for preparing Smart City Plan
  • By the time 2015 ends, 20 cities from this list would be selected for allocating Rs 500 crore from Central Govt., which would be spent in the next 5 years
  • By 2017 end, 40 more cities would be selected for receiving grant of Rs 500 crore from Central Govt.
  • As per the Government, these smart cities will have these following features:
  • Optimizing land use in area based development projects
  • Housing for 100% of urban citizens; Mass inclusion of homeless into the housing network
  • Creation of localities which are walkable and optimally developed with open spaces
  • Preservation of forest area
  • Introducing a ‘variety of transportation options’
  • Implementing eGovernance which is Citizen-friendly
  • Giving an identity to the city; promoting tourism and other activities
  • Implementation of smart solutions for infrastructural projects

By 2050, almost 50% of India’s population will reside in urban locations, up from 30% which is the share right now. Such huge influx of population into urban locations certainly needs long term planning, and the smart city project is the right step in this direction.

Here is a list of all 100 cities which would be developed into smart cities in the next 5 years. (source: Firstpost)

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