M Venkaiah Naidu
New Delhi: The central government on Friday announced a new list of 30 cities to be developed into 'smart cities', with Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram topping the list.
The latest list -- including 12 state capitals - takes the number of cities chosen so far to 90 under the Smart City Mission.
In the new list, the Kerala capital is followed by Chhattisgarh's new capital Naya Raipur.
The winter and summer capitals of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Srinagar respectively, also feature among the chosen ones.
The other state capitals are Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Patna (Bihar), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Aizawl (Mizoram), Gangtok (Sikkim) and Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
"A total of 45 cities contested for 40 available Smart City slots but only 30 were selected to ensure feasible and workable plans that match the aspirations of the citizens, as directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Urban Development and Housing Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said while announcing the new batch of smart cities at a National Workshop on Urban Transformation here.
The central government launched the Smart City Mission on June 25, 2015, to develop 100 smart cities in five years.
Though the government was expecting to announce the names of 40 cities, non-participation of Bengal brought the number down.
Moreover, some of the city municipal bodies failed to score the minimum qualifying mark during evaluation of their bids for the coveted tag.
Naidu said these 30 cities identified on Friday entailed investment of Rs 57,393 crore, including Rs 46,879 crore for ensuring core infrastructure in areas identified by citizens, and Rs 10,514 crore for technology-based solutions, service delivery and utilisation of infrastructure.
With this, the total investment approved under the smart city plans of 90 cities has gone up to Rs 1,91,155 crore, he said.
Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Bihar Sharif (Bihar), Diu (Daman and Diu), Silvassa (Dadra and Nager Haveli), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Navi Mumbai, Greater Mumbai and Amaravati (Maharashtra), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dindigul and Erode (Tamil Nadu), Bidhannagar, Durgapur, and Haldia (West Bengal), Meerut, Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Sharanpur and Rampur (Uttar Pradesh) are the 20 cities that will contest for the remaining 10 slots.
Naidu said selection of cities for smart city development is running ahead of schedule and the remaining cities would submit revised plans for filling up the vacant slots.
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