100 smart cities are real incubators of the New Urban India: Union Minister Hardeep Puri – ET Government

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep S. Puri

The Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep S. Puri has said the implementation of Smat Cities Mission at city level done by a special purpose vehicle, is playing an instrumental role in monitoring the projects to utilize the full potential of this path-breaking project. The minister stated that India’s urban future will draw heavily from the innovations being nurtured in these 100 smart cities.

Participating in the consultative committee meeting of Smart Cities in Goa on Monday, Puri apprised the members of the committee of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs about the progress of Smart Cities Mission.

The minister further stated that Smart Cities Mission launched on 25 June, 2015, is aimed at providing core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions’. 100 cities selected through a two-stage competition to be developed as smart cities are showing satisfying progress, he said.

Smart Cities Mission, monitored by an apex committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, regularly reports implementation status of projects through the real-time Geographical Management Information System (GMIS). As per SCM statement and guidelines, a Smart City Advisory Forum (SCAF) is established at the city level to advise and enable collaboration among various stakeholders. It consists of member(s) of parliament, legislative assembly, mayor, District Collector, local youth, technical experts, other stakeholders, etc. All 100 smart cities have established their SCAFs. So far, the smart cities have convened more than 756 meetings of SCAF, the minister informed the committe.

At State level, high powered steering committee (HPSC) chaired by the Chief Secretary has been established. Besides, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs nominee directors on the boards of special purpose vehicle (SPVs) regularly monitor the progress in respective cities. The ministry regularly interacts with the states/ smart cities through video conferences, review meetings, field visits, regional workshops, etc at various levels to assess the performance of cities and to handhold them for improvement, he informed.

Smart Cities Mission strategy

The committee visited various project sites including ‘Mandovi Riverfront Promenade’, ‘Flood Mitigation Works’, and Integrated Command and Control Centre in Goa and deliberated upon the current status and progress as on May 1, 2023 wherein it was highlighted that the mission has around 7,800 projects worth Rs 1.8 lakh crore of which 5,700+ projects (73 by number) worth Rs 1.1 lakh crore (60% by value) have been completed. All remaining projects are expected to be completed by June 30, 2024. Also, it was outlined during the meeting that Rs 38,400 crore have been released under Smart Cities Mission upto May 1 out of which Rs 35,261 crore has been utilized.

The meeting chaired by Puri and Minister of State Kaushal Kishore, was attended by Members of Parliament from across the states — MVV Satyanarayana, AKP Chinraj, Ramesh Bidhuri, Sanjay Kaka Patil, Abir Ranjan Biswas, Kalpana Saini, Vandana Chauhan and other senior officials. Shalini Agarwal, Commissioner, Surat, Divyank Singh, CEO, Indore Smart City, M. Prathap, CEO, Coimbatore Smart City, Ankit Khandelwal, CEO Agra Smart City, also made insightful presentations on best practices adopted in their respective cities.

Kaushal Kishore lauded the pioneering effort of the mission in successful deployment of the Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) in all 100 smart cities. “ICCCs build better situational awareness by the use of cutting-edge technologies and provide consolidated visualization for civic officials across urban functions to handle day-day work/ issues/ exigencies through detailed SOPs,” he said. ICCCs have become the nerve centres of these smart cities and embodies effective use of technology towards strengthening the urban management.

Kalpana Saini stressed on the need of adding more to Smart Cities Mission whereas Vandana Chauhan appreciated ICCCs and their functioning during COVID-19 and other crises for effective management of the pandemic.

  • Published On May 23, 2023 at 05:01 PM IST

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