Maharashtra government is mulling its own 'Smart City' project with an aim to provide development opportunities to cities that have not been selected by the Centre under its ambitious programme.
The project is at a nascent stage for now and nothing has been finalised on paper as yet, state Urban Development Department (UDD) secretary Manisha Mhaiskar said.
"However, the Chief Minister has in-principle given his approval to go ahead," she said. Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli, Nagpur and Aurangabad are among ten cities selected from the state for the Centre's 'Smart City' project.
"We had chosen 33 cities for the Smart City project. However, according to limitation of 10 cities, we had to drop other cities. The preparation of these cities was admirable and hence, the state government has decided to introduce its own 'smart city' project so that we can change the face of these cities," Mhaiskar said.
A decision on allocation of funds to develop these as smart cities under the state government's project will be taken soon and it will later be placed before the Cabinet for its approval, she said.
"The Centre, under its flagship programme, will provide Rs 100 crores to each of the ten cities selected by it so that they can prepare a plan of their own. These cities will then consult NGOs and citizens before finalising the plan of their smart city," she said.
Mhaiskar said that 80 per cent issues will be related to civic amenities, like providing drinking water and proper drainage system, while 20 per cent will be regarding Information Technology.
"Forty three cities from Maharashtra have been selected for AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), another project of the Centre, in which it has given preference to provide drinking water. It is expected that water will be provided to households from the source through a metered system and chances of leakages and theft will be eliminated by the local bodies themselves," Mhaiskar said.