Let a hundred smart cities bloom in India…

[youtube id=”vvE2CXuQXMs” mode=”normal” parameters=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvE2CXuQXMs”]Let a hundred smart cities bloom, and let a million dreams thrive in these cities. The smart cities dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inch closer to fruition, with his Cabinet approving a total package of about Rs 100,000 crore (around $17 billion) for this pet mission of urban renewal.

A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 29 approved Smart Cities Mission for development of 100 smart cities and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) of 500 cities with outlays of Rs 48,000 crore ($8 billion) and Rs 50,000 crore ($8.3 billion) respectively.

The Smart City project is aimed at revolutionising the urban landscape of India and creating 21st century cities, with world-class infrastructure and eco-friendly habitat.

Smart City has become the leitmotif of Mr Modi’s diplomatic outreach to India’s key strategic partners, including the US, Japan, China, Australia, France and Germany. In his interactions with top leaders of these countries, Mr Modi has proactively sought their support for fructifying his smart cities mission – part of his overarching objective of national resurgence and his promise of delivering better life to millions of Indian citizens deprived of top-class urban amenities.

In the spirit of cooperative federalism, Mr Modi has decided that the process of selection of smart cities will be inclusive and democratic. Smart City aspirants, according to the urban development ministry, will be selected through a â City Challenge Competition, intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission objectives.

smart-cityUnder this scheme, each state will shortlist a certain number of smart city aspirants as per the norms to be indicated and they will prepare smart city proposals for evaluation for extending central support.

The focus is on urban uplift and rejuvenation. AMRUT, named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is the new avatar of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The Cabinet has approved central funding under AMRUT to the projects sanctioned under JNNURM and not completed.

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