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India’s urban future will largely draw on the innovations nurtured in these 100 smart cities

Shri Hardeep S. Puri, Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas briefed the members of the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on the progress of the Smart Cities Mission.

He further said that the implementation of the mission at the city level is being done by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which plays a key role in monitoring the projects to realize the full potential of this groundbreaking mission. The minister said that India’s urban future will largely draw on the innovations nurtured in these 100 smart cities.

Launched on June 25, 2015, the Smart Cities mission is aimed at providing basic infrastructure, a clean and sustainable environment and a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of “smart solutions”. The 100 cities selected through a two-phase competition to be developed as Smart Cities are showing satisfactory progress.

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According to the SCM Statement and Guidelines, a Smart City Advisory Forum (SCAF) is established at the city level to provide guidance and enable collaboration between various stakeholders. All 100 Smart Cities have established their SCAF. So far, Smart Cities has convened more than 756 SCAF meetings.

In addition, a High Power Steering Committee (HPSC) chaired by the Chief Secretary has been set up at the state level. In addition, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs nominated directors on Special Vehicle (SPV) Boards regularly monitor the progress of the respective cities.

In addition, the Ministry regularly interacts with States / Smart Cities through video conferencing, review meetings, field visits, regional workshops etc. at various levels to review the performance of the cities and ensure their improvement.

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Smart Cities Mission Strategy

Further, the committee visited various project sites including ‘Mandovi Riverfront Promenade’, ‘Flood Mitigation Works’ and Integrated Command and Control Center in Goa and discussed the current status and progress as on 1 May 2023, highlighting that the mission has approximately 7 800 projects worth Rs 1.8 crore, of which 5,700+ projects (73% by number) worth Rs 1,00,000 crore.

 1.1 million crores (60% of the value) were completed. All the remaining projects are expected to be completed by 30 June 2024. It was also outlined during the meeting that ₹38,400 crore has been released under the Smart Cities Mission till 1 May 2023, of which ₹35,261 crore has been utilised.

State Minister Sh. Kaushal Kishore appreciated the mission’s pioneering efforts in successfully deploying Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) in all 100 smart cities. “ICCCs create better situational awareness using cutting-edge technology and provide a consolidated visualization for citizens across city functions to manage day-to-day work/issues/needs through detailed SOPs,” he said.

He further added that ICCCs have become the nerve centers of these smart cities and epitomize the effective use of technology to strengthen city governance.

Furthermore, Smt. Kalpana Saini highlighted the need to add more to the Smart Cities mission; while Smt. Vandana Chauhan praised the ICCC and their functioning during the COVID-19 and other crises for managing the pandemic effectively; Sh. AKP Chinraj emphasized the need to create expertise in key areas such as mobility, water and waste management etc.

Furthermore, in order to promote results-oriented works, he outlined the need for a large-scale promotional effort to expand the mission’s exemplary key initiatives.

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