Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

“Smart Cities Are Showing Satisfying Progress”, Claims Urban Affairs Minister

May 24, 2023
Picture for representational purpose

Smart Cities are the real incubators of the new urban India and the country’s urban future will draw heavily from the innovations being nurtured in these 100 smart cities, Union Housing and Urban Affair Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

The Minister stated this while attending the meeting of the Parliamentary consultative committee of his ministry about the progress of Smart Cities Mission. He said the building smart cities was a journey and not a destination. Puri added that the implementation of the mission at city level was being done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which plays an instrumental role in monitoring the projects to utilize the full potential of this path-breaking mission.

The Minister stated that India’s urban future will draw heavily from the innovations being nurtured in these 100 smart cities.

The Smart Cities Mission launched in 2015 is aimed at providing core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of smart solutions. 100 cities selected through a two-stage competition to be developed as Smart Cities are showing satisfying progress.

Smart Cities Mission, monitored by an Apex Committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, regularly report implementation status of projects through the Real Time Geographical Management Information System (GMIS). As per SCM Statement and Guidelines, a Smart City Advisory Forum (SCAF) is established at the city level to advise and enable collaboration among various stakeholders. It consists of Member(s) of Parliament, Member(s) of Legislative Assembly, Mayor, District Collector, local youth, technical experts, other stakeholders, etc. All 100 Smart Cities have established their SCAFs. So far, the Smart Cities have convened more than 756 meetings of SCAF.

Moreover, at State level, High Powered Steering Committee (HPSC) chaired by the Chief Secretary has been established. Besides, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Nominee Directors on the Boards of SPVs regularly monitor the progress in respective cities. Furthermore, the Ministry regularly interacts with the States / Smart Cities through video conferences, review meetings, field visits, regional workshops, etc. at various levels to assess the performance of cities and to handhold them for improvement, a statement said.

Further, the Committee visited various project sites including ‘Mandovi Riverfront Promenade’, ‘Flood Mitigation Works’, and Integrated Command and Control Centre in Goa and deliberated upon the current status and progress as on 1 May, 2023 wherein it was highlighted that the Mission has around 7,800 projects worth ₹1.8 lakh crores of which over 5,700 projects (73% by number) worth ₹1.1 lakh crores (60% by value) have been completed. All remaining projects are expected to be completed by 30 June, 2024. Also, it was outlined during the meeting that ₹38,400 crore have been released under Smart Cities Mission upto 1 May, 2023, out of which ₹35,261 crore has been utilized.

The Minister of State Kaushal Kishore said, “ICCCs build better situational awareness by the use of cutting-edge technologies and provide consolidated visualization for civic officials across urban functions to handle day-day work, issues and exigencies through detailed SOPs”. He further added that ICCCs have become the nerve center’s of these smart cities and embodies effective use of technology towards strengthening the urban management.

The enactment of the Smart Cities Mission marked the beginning of a new era in Urban Development Sector as a step towards reforming the sector, encouraging improved economic standards, smart governance, climate-sensitive sustainable environment, vibrant public spaces, digital access and health and hygiene, thus empowering the cities framework. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India is committed to enhance the ease of living index in the service of citizens.