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State-level panels and city forums to realise smart cities

Smart Cities

Mumbai:  The Centre’s ambitious smart cities project, apart from a state-level high-powered steering committee (HPSC), will have a city-level advisory forum for each of the 100 smart cities to enable people to actively participate in governance and reforms.

The city level forum, that will include NGOs, Chamber of Commerce, women groups, tax payers association will play an important role in the development aspects of these cities.

“Once the Smart Cities are selected through the ‘City Challenge’ competition, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be created for the implementation of the Smart City Mission in August,” said an official from State Urban Development Department (UDD).

The official added that for every selected city, there will be a separate SPV. The SPV will be a company incorporated under the Companies Act and it will be have the responsibility to plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate Smart City Development projects.

“There will be a monitoring system at three levels,” the official said, adding that at the national level, there will be an Apex Committee (AC) headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development department.

The AC will approve the proposals for Smart Cities mission and monitor their progress and release funds. While the state-level HPSC chaired by the Chief Secretary will have representatives of departments of state government, the Mayor of Municipal Commissioner of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) relating to the Smart City.

Principal Secretary of Finance and Planning, Principal Secretary or Director of Town Planning, representative of UDD, select CEO of SPV in the state, select Mayors or President of ULB, representative from Public Health will be the other members of the HPSC.

“At the City Level Advisory Forum, District Collector, MP, MLA, Mayor, CEO of SPV, local youths, technical experts will be the members. Apart from these, President of the Secretary representing Registered Residents Welfare Association, member from Tax Payers Association, Secretary of Slum Level Federation, women groups, Chamber of Commerce, Youth Associations and NGO will also be member of City level forum,” the official said.

He said the Forum will play an important role in comprehensive development adding that the Smart Cities Mission requires smart people who can actively participate in governance and reforms.

Citizen involvement is much more than a ceremonial participation in governance, he said.

Meanwhile, Manisha Mhaiskar, principal secretary, UDD said, “the procedure to bring the proposals from potential cities is in process and we will select some names of the cities to recommend for city challenge to the union UD department within the next two weeks.”

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