The Golden Temple city of Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities announced by the Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu here today. Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that made to the third list of smart cities are : Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi. With this the number of cities selected under Smart City Mission for financing implementation of smart city plans has gone up to 60.Announcing the cities that were selected in a competition among 63 cities, Shri Naidu said “The willingness and enthusiasm among cities to participate in more than one round of competition is a clear evidence of the urban renaissance set in motion. Competition bases selection has made the cities rediscover themselves as they are undertaking a thorough assessment of gaps in the present levels of infrastructure and service delivery and come out with comprehensive, credible and actionable plans for area based development and technology based Pan-city solutions”The Minister informed that the new 27 smart cities have proposed an investment of Rs.66,883 cr under smart city plans including Rs.42,524 cr under Area Based Development and another Rs.11,379 cr for technology based Pan-city solutions that benefits all the citizens of respective cities. With this, the total investment proposed by the 60 cities selected so far has gone up to Rs.1,44,742 cr, he said.
The 27 smart cities announced today are from 12 States including 5 from Maharashtra, 4 each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, 3 from Uttar Pradesh and 2 each from Punjab and Rajasthan. Nagaland and Sikkim have made it to the smart city list for the first time.With today’s announcement, implementation of smart city plans is now spread over 27 States and UTs, said Shri Venkaiah Naidu. 9 States/UTs still to enter implementation phase are; Uttarakhand, J & K, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra, Nagar & Haveli.Stating that Smart City Mission is running ahead of schedule, Shri Venkaiah Naidu informed that the next round of competition to select the remaining 40 cities would begin in January next year.