Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said the Centre’s flagship Smart Cities Mission was progressing at a “brisk pace” and setting a “new benchmark” in term of project implementation. The housing and urban affairs ministry has so far announced 99 cities for Smart Cities Mission.
In January 2016, 20 cities were announced, followed by 13 cities in May 2016, 27 cities in September 2016 and 30 cities in June 2017. On January 19, nine cities were chosen in the latest round of the Smart Cities Mission.
At an event, Puri said two years is a short duration in terms of urban development life-cycle where transitions take place over decades. “The Smart Cities Mission is progressing at a brisk pace,” the housing and urban affairs minister said, adding that 99 cities selected so far have identified projects worth Rs 2.02 lakh crore.
He said as on January 17, there were 2,948 projects worth Rs 1.38 lakh crore at various stages of implementation, while 189 projects worth Rs 2,237 crore have been completed.
“Smart Cities Mission is setting a new benchmark in terms of project implementation… This remains one of the fastest ever project implementations at this scale and geographic spread in urban sector,” Puri said.
He said urbanisation in India, or anywhere in the world, brings with it a host of challenges, from pollution to lack of civic amenities like drinking water, sewage, and electricity.
“We stand today at an inflection point in urban transformation. India’s Smart Cities Mission was launched by the government to provide impetus to urban transformation process,” he said.