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Smart City

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The concept of Smart City emerged in India with the launch of “Smart City Mission” in 2015 as part of fulfilling the announcement made in Union Budget 2014-15. The Budget outlined the vision of developing 'one hundred Smart Cities', as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernizing the existing mid-sized cities.

In a nutshell, smart cities are those cities which harness the potential of technology in developing city infrastructure and in enhancing the quality of life for city dwellers. No precise definition for smart city has been developed but a set of core features have been identified.

Some of its other features are mixed use of land, transit oriented development (i.e., developing commercial and residential plots in the same area to reduce use of vehicles or to increase the use of public transport), last mile connectivity through para transport (autos, disabled friendly vehicles etc.) housing solutions for the poor, pedestrian / cyclist friendly design of streets, preservation of open spaces and ecological balances, green buildings which reduce energy consumption, mobile and e-governance etc.

Cost and Duration
Cabinet approved the Smart Cities Mission with an outlay of Rs. 48000 Crore on 29 April 2015. The Mission is to cover 100 cities in five years (FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20). Each city would get central assistance of Rs.100 crore per year for five years.

Generally a "mission mode" project implies a project that has clearly defined objectives, scopes, implementation timelines and milestones, as well as measurable outcomes and service levels.

Strategy for making a city smart: The basic assumption here is that technology can lead to smart outcomes (say provision of most of the government services online, integrated multi-modal transport, smart meters for measuring resource (electricity, water, gas etc.) consumption, recycling of waste to energy etc.). The Smart City Mission tries to create smart cities in three ways: through city improvement (retrofitting – i.e, correcting through necessary interventions the deficiencies in an identified area of more than 500 acres), city renewal (redevelopment - i.e., reconstruction of already built-up area of more than 50 acres that is not amenable for any interventions) and city extension (greenfield development of new cities spanning more than 250 acres) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city. Pan-city components could be interventions like intelligent transport solutions (say traffic management using mobile apps the helps people to divert to less congested roads, allowing ambulances and other emergency vehicles to control the traffic signals) that benefit all residents by reducing commuting time. Pan-city is an additional feature to be provided alongside proposals for retrofitting or redevelopment or green field development.

The smart city proposal can be linked to other development schemes like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation of 500 cities AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Digital India, Skill development, Housing for All, construction of Museums funded by the Culture Department and other programs connected to social infrastructure such as Health, Education and Culture.

For North Eastern and Himalayan States, the area proposed to be developed will be one-half of what is prescribed for any of the alternative models - retrofitting, redevelopment or greenfield development.
The Mission relies on visionary leadership of local governments, public-private partnership and citizen participation.

Selection of 100 Smart Cities: Smart City aspirants are selected through a ‘City Challenge Competition’. Each state has to shortlist a certain number of smart city aspirants as per the norms (based on population and number of statutory towns in the state) and prepare smart city proposals as per their imagination for further evaluation by Center for grant of funds. This is intended to link financing with the ability to vision and develop a city.

Implementation: An Apex Committee (AC), headed by the Secretary, MoUD and comprising representatives of related Ministries and organisations and stakeholders will approve the Proposals for Smart Cities Mission, monitor their progress and release funds.

Smart City Action Plans will be implemented by Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) to be created for each city and state governments will ensure steady stream of resources for SPVs. The first batch of smart cities were selected on 28 January 2016. They were the first 20 winners (from 12 states/UTs) of the Smart City Challenge competition.  As on June 2017, 90 cities have been selected as smart cities.

Smart City Mission got into implementation mode on 25 June 2016 with the launch of 14 projects of Pune’s Smart City Plan.

For more details see here.


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