Mangaluru : Mangaloreans will have to keep their fingers crossed until 3pm today (28 January 2016) to know whether Mangaluru will be selected as one of the first Smart City among 20 cities – A list of first 20 out of the 97 cities to be developed as Smart Cities will be announced on Thursday around 3 pm or so by PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
These cities will be developed to have basic infrastructure through assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation. In the subsequent years, the government will announce 40 cities each to be developed as Smart Cities as per PM Modi’s plan to develop 100 Smart Cities in the country. In the subsequent years, the government will announce 40 cities each to be developed as Smart Cities as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to develop 100 Smart Cities in the country.
Speaking to media persons on challenges and the way ahead for urban development, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said perpetuation of inequities in urban areas has serious implications for national security and hence, the government is committed to ensuring inclusive development under new initiatives like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
Naidu stressed on the need for inclusive urban development, noting that “it was the need of the hour with ‘Young India’ becoming more and more aspirational”. He expressed concern regarding the exploitation of urban spaces by the well-to-do sections of the society at the cost of the poor and the marginalised and stressed on inclusivity while taking decisions related to urban governance. Emphasising on the need for sustainable urban development, Naidu said, “Cities should be water positive through water harvesting, recycling and reuse of water, energy positive with each household resorting to renewable sources of energy, and community positive facilitating interactive neighbourhoods.”
Mangaluru is one among the six Karnataka cities featured in the list of 97 cities from the country, others namely are Tumakuru, Shivamogga, Davangere, Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi and Davanagere. It is learnt that three expert committees constituted by the government have finalised the list of 20. If Mangaluru gets selected today, it will get Rs 200 crore aid from the union government in the first year while in the next three years, it will get Rs 100 crore each year. The same amount has to be invested by the cities also to make the cities truly smart as per the plan.
Once the first 20 smart cities are selected today, the rest of the 77 cities need to rectify their mistakes, and participate in the next competition. 40 cities will be declared Smart Cities again in the year 2016-17 and 40 will be declared Smart Cities in the year 2017-18. Presently the number of applications is 97 out of the proposed 100 smart cities as per prime minister Narendra Modi’s plan to develop 100 Smart Cities in the country.