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India pledges five more smart cities

The proposed cities would be developed through public-private partnerships and their locations chosen to capitalise on the benefits of other economic initiatives.

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India’s government will develop five new smart cities under the Smart Cities initiative, finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said during her latest Budget speech.

 

She said there was an opportunity to maximise the benefit from three economic areas: the upcoming economic corridors; revitalisation of manufacturing activities; and growing demand for technology from “aspirational classes”.

 

PPPs

 

The proposed cities would be developed through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and their locations would be chosen with the three economic principles in mind.

 

India’s Smart Cities Mission to create 100 smart cities was launched in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the aim of upgrading infrastructure to cope with a growing population.

 

The proposed cities would be developed through public-private partnerships (PPPs).

 

The goal is to “promote cities with core infrastructure which offer a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and have the potential to apply ‘smart solutions’.”

 

Under the programme, each city receives annual government support, with some contributions from state and local city bodies.

 

Report card

 

The initial target was for most initiatives to be completed by 2020 but delays caused the deadline to be pushed back to 2023.

 

In September, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the country’s first greenfield industrial smart city the10,000-acre Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC), which is part of the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor.

 

However, reports note that much of the earmarked money for the Smart Cities Mission overall still has not been spent and several smart cities are yet to complete any projects.

 

India’s government says it will release a ‘report card’ on the Smart Cities Mission in June. The cities will be ranked according to quality of life and sustainability.

 

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