Varanasi along with Kanpur and Agra are selected to be developed as the smart cities among 27 cities by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha Constituency under the Urban Development Constituency on Tuesday.
The 27 smart cities include Agra, Ajmer, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Gwalior, Hubli-Dharwad, Jalandhar, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Kanpur, Kohima, Kota, Madurai, Mangalore, Nagpur, Namchi, Nasik, Rourkela, Salem, Shivamogga, Thane, Thanjavur, Tirupati, Tumakuru, Ujjain and Vadodara.
Union Urban Development Minister, Venkaiah Naidu said while announcing the list of cities, a total of 1,44,742 has been proposed by the 60 cities under smart city plans. Varanasi is one of the three cities along with Agra and Kanpur from Uttar Pradesh which goes to the polls next year.
He also added that “new 27 smart cities proposed projects worth Rs. 66,883 crore under Smart City Mission, including Rs. 42,524 crore under area-based development and Rs.11,379 crore for technology-based pan-city solutions.” The Madurai has selected along in the list after three rounds of competition with the total number selected under 60 smart cities.
Maharashtra has made the highest with the five smart cities on the list. The 27 cities are from different states of the country which includes four from Tamilnadu and Karnataka, three from Uttar Pradesh, two from Rajasthan and Punjab. Nagaland and Sikkim are selected for the first in the list.
Apart from Agra and Varanasi, the pilgrim and tourism cities that are made into the list are Ujjain, Tirupati, Madurai, Nasik, Thanjavur and Ajmer. Amritsar has made topped the list of 27 smart cities among the total 60 cities.
“The willingness and enthusiasm among the cities to participate in more than one round of competition is a clear evidence of the urban renaissance set in motion,” Mr. Naidu said.
The Smart City Mission implementation has spread over Union Territories and 27 cities. The nine more cities and Union Territories is yet to enter the list are Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Mr Venkaiah Naidu said that the next round of selecting remaining smart cities would begin in January. All the selected smart cities will receive a Central Assistance of Rs. 200 crore in the first year, Rs. 100 crores in the three subsequent financial years.
By 2019-20, the government has planned to transform 100 cities by providing Rs. 48,000 crores as the financial support.