Of the 100 proposed smart cities across states and Union territories, 20 would be selected this financial year, it is learnt. The rest would join the club in two batches of 40 each in the next two years, said a source in the government.
Once the entire smart-city plan is rolled out across the country, Uttar Pradesh will account for the most (13), followed by Tamil Nadu (12), Maharashtra (10), Madhya Pradesh (seven), and Gujarat and Karnataka (six each). Though the timeline hadn’t been defined, the entire exercise of making 100 cities ‘smart’ could take a decade or more, said an expert.
Among those that could be part of the 100 smart city list are Lucknow, Allahabad and Varanasi in UP; Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai in Tamil Nadu; Ahmedabad, Gandhi Nagar, Surat and Rajkot in Gujarat; Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar in Punjab; Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana; Shimla in Himachal Pradesh; and Haridwar and Roorkee in Uttarakhand.
Selection of potential smart-city candidates will be based on a two-stage competition called ‘city challenge’. While states will first compete to name their cities, the second stage will be about cities making the cut. The evaluation of cities and towns will be based on criteria framed by the Ministry of Urban Development, in consultation with states. The Centre has mandated every state be made a part of the smart-city universe.
June 25 launch
The smart cities mission will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25 along with two other schemes, AMRUT and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Modi will also announce the operational guidelines, apart from unveiling the logos for the schemes.
Each smart city, selected through a ‘City Challenge Competition’, will get Central government assistance of INR 100 crore per year for five years, the Ministry had said in April.