- The Government of India has launched the Smart Cities Mission on 25 June 2015.
- The objective is to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.
- The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a replicable model which will act as a lighthouse to other aspiring cities. The Smart Cities Mission is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City, catalysing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country.
- Some of the core infrastructure elements in a Smart City would include adequate water supply, assured electricity supply, sanitation, including solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, affordable housing, especially for the poor, robust IT connectivity and digitalization, good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation, sustainable environment, safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly and health and education.
- The strategic components of the Smart Cities Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.
- Area-based development will transform existing areas (retrofit and redevelop), including slums, into better planned human settlements, thereby, improving the liveability of the whole cities. Development of well-planned and fully serviced new areas (greenfield) will be encouraged around cities in order to accommodate the rapidly expanding population in urban areas. Application of Smart Solutions will enable cities to use technology to improve infrastructure and services.
- Comprehensive development in this way will improve quality of life, create employment and enhance incomes for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, leading to inclusive cities.
- The selection process of Smart Cities is based on the idea of Competitive and Co-operative Federalism and follows a Challenge process to select cities in two stages.
- In January 2016, based on the All India Competition, 20 smart cities were selected in Round 1 (Annexure-I). 13 more Smart Cities were selected in May 2016 in fast track round (Annexure-II).
- In Round 2, 63 potential smart cities participated of which, 27 more Smart Cities have been selected in September 2016 (Annexure-III).
- A total investment of Rs.1,44,742 crore has been proposed by the 60 cities under their smart city plans. Projects focusing on revamping an identified area (Area Based Projects) are estimated to cost Rs. 1,05,024 crore. Smart initiatives across the city (Pan City Initiatives) account for the remaining INR 39,718 Crores of investments.
- The implementation of the Smart Cities Mission is done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be set up at city level in the form of a limited company under the Companies Act, 2013 and will be promoted by the State/UT and the Urban Local Body (ULB) jointly both having 50:50 equity shareholding. After selection, each selected Smart Cities have to set up SPVs and start the implementation of their Smart City Proposal, preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs), tenders etc.
- The SPV will convert the Smart City Proposal into projects through Project Management Consultants (PMCs) and implementation thereafter.
- In the approach of the Smart Cities Mission, the objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a replicable model which will act as a lighthouse to other aspiring cities.
- The Smart Cities Mission of the Government is a bold, new initiative. It is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City, catalysing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country. The core infrastructure elements in a smart city would include:
i. adequate water supply,
ii. assured electricity supply,
iii. sanitation, including solid waste management,
iv. efficient urban mobility and public transport,
v. affordable housing, especially for the poor,
vi. robust IT connectivity and digitalization,
vii. good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation,
viii. sustainable environment,
ix. safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly,
x. health and education.