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Draft plans for smart cities, urban renewal on the anvil

Union ministers at press conference

Mumbai: Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu today said draft plans for the proposed 100 smart cities and the new urban transformation mission will be unveiled soon.

“It’s our intent to roll out the plans for both smart cities as also the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (Amrut) programme that envisages development of 500 cities simultaneously this month itself,” Naidu said at a seminar on smart cities here.

The government has proposed to spend around Rs 1 lakh crore on the two schemes over the next five years.

While Rs 48,000 crore have been earmarked for 100 smart cities, Rs 50,000 crore are marked for the Amrut scheme for 500 cities.

He said the cities would be selected through a city- challenge competition where states will have to compete with each other on various parameters to get selected.

“Smart city aspirants will be selected through a city challenge competition intended to link financing with the ability of cities to achieve the mission objectives. They will be judged on the basis of the measures taken with regard to¬† sanitation, sewage treatment, education and health facilities, water management and transport, among others,” the minister said.

Development of smart cities, he added, will have to be carried out through public-private partnership only.

“We have allocated Rs 1 trillion, but that is not sufficient. We will need private sector support for achieving the targets. Therefore, our focus will be on PPPs,” Naidu clarified.

The minister said as many as 14 countries have shown interest in investing in the smart city programme. “Apart from the JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) and the World Bank, we have received interests from 14 countries which want to partner with us in funding for the smart cities mission,” Naidu added.

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