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India's 20 cities to get a smart makeover

Last updated on: January 28, 2016 19:19 IST

Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur and Surat are among 20 cities selected in the first batch to be developed as 'smart cities'.

Bhubaneswar emerged on top among 20 cities, including Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bhopal, that have been selected as part of the first batch of the Smart City initiative for which the NDMC area of Delhi has also made the grade.

Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced the first list of 20 cities Thursday that will be developed to have basic infrastructure.

Assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation are some of the highlights of the initiative.

Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal are the other cities selected in the first batch.

"Nobody can stop an idea whose time has come and this applies to the Smart City (initiative as well)," Naidu said while announcing the list of cities that were selected through the 'Smart City Challenge Competition'.

Congratulating the winners of the competition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "I wish the cities the very best as they move forward with implementation and transform urban India."

The contest was as rigorous and demanding as the civil services competition, Naidu quipped.

"For the first time in the country and perhaps in the world, investments in urban development are being made based on a competition among cities. The results of the competition revealed the unrecognised strength of our federal structure," he said.

The cities in the first list have made it to the top of the competition based on implementation framework, including feasibility and cost-effectiveness, which had a weightage of 30 per cent, followed by result orientation (20 pc), citizen participation (16 pc), smartness of proposal (10 pc), strategic plan (10 pc), vision and goals (5 pc), evidence-based city profiling and key performance indicators (5 pc) and processes followed (4 pc).

Naidu said that the various states selected the cities and sent a list of 97 names, out of which 20 have been selected.

A bottom-up rather than top-down approach has been the key planning principle under Smart City Mission, he said.