Smart Cities: Central nod for two in Odisha

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The Smart Cities Mission, which was approved by the Union Cabinet today, includes two cities from Odisha out of the 100 identified. The mission aims at promoting efficient use of available assets and enhancing the quality of urban life.

Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram said, “In all, 500 cities will be covered under the mission in phases. In the first phase, 100 cities have been identified, out of which two are from Odisha. The work has already started with participation from the State government.”

The smart cities project would have an outlay of Rs 48,000 crore, an official release said.

At a meeting chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet also gave its approval to the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) of 500 cities with an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore.

The mission of building 100 Smart Cities intends to promote adoption of smart solutions for efficient use of available assets, resources and infrastructure with the objective of enhancing the quality of urban life and providing a clean and sustainable environment.

Under the mission, each selected city would get Central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years. Smart City aspirants will be selected through a “City Challenge Competition” intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission objectives.

Each state will shortlist a certain number of Smart City aspirants as per the norms to be indicated and they will prepare smart city proposals for further evaluation for extending Central support.

Special emphasis will be given to participation of citizens in prioritizing and planning urban interventions. It will be implemented through “area-based” approach consisting of retrofitting, redevelopment, pan-city initiatives and development of new cities.

The focus will be on core infrastructure services like adequate and clean water supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, affordable housing for the poor, power supply and robust IT connectivity.

The Cabinet also approved the Central spending of about Rs 1 lakh crore on urban development under two new urban missions over the next five years.