Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Aug 27:
Two cities from Odisha – the state capital Bhubaneswar and the Steel City of Rourkela – have found place in the first list of 98 cities, including 24 state capitals, which are to be developed as Smart Cities under the NDA government’s flagship project, the Urban Development Ministry announced here today.
Apart from Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, the state government had recommended the case of three other cities to be included in the scheme. The other three recommended by the government are: Cuttack, Sambalpur and Brahmapur.
As per the list released by Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu here, the maximum number of Smart Cities were shortlisted in Uttar Pradesh (13) followed by Tamil Nadu (12) and Maharashtra (10). This apart, seven cities from Madhya Pradesh, three each from Bihar, Andhra Pradesh have been included in the Smart Cities list.
Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ranchi and Bhubaneswar are among the cities that have found place in the coveted Smart Cities project list.
Speaking on the occasion, Naidu said: “13 crore population across 98 cities, which is 35% of urban population, will be covered under Smart City Mission. The implementation of the mission at the city level will be done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).”
“Under this project, Central government proposes to give financial support to the mission to the extent of Rs 48, 000 crores over the next five years,” Naidu added.
Notably, the nine capital cities that are not nominated as Smart Cities include Itanagar, Patna, Shimla and Bengaluru.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the criteria and guidelines for 100 Smart Cities to be selected through city challenge competition in June 25.
Barring Jammu and Kashmir, all states had finalised the names of proposed Smart Cities through competition.