All 23 cities submit Smart City plans under fast track competition
All the 23 cities and towns from as many States and Union Territories that were given an opportunity to participate in the ‘Fast Track Competition’ under Smart City Mission submitted revised Smart City Plans to the Ministry of Urban Development. April 21, 2016 was set as the deadline for submission of proposals by the Ministry.
The revised plans of these 23 cities, including 15 capitals, would be evaluated by May 15 this year and those meeting the benchmark set by the winning cities in the first round of ‘Smart City Challenge Competition’ will be announced for extending central assistance. Bhubaneswar was ranked number one and Bhopal at number 20 in the first list of mission cities announced on January 28,2016.
Since only 12 States and UTs were represented in the first list of 20 mission cities announced earlier, the Ministry offered an opportunity to the highest ranked city in the first round of competition in each of the unrepresented 23 States and UTs to participate in Fast Track Competition in pursuance of the principle of urban transformation across the country.
After evaluation of Smart City Plans of 97 cities in the first round of competition and announcement of the first list of 20 smart cities, the remaining were informed of the deficiencies in the plans. The inadequacies identified included lacunae in assessment of cities, disconnect between citizens’ aspirations and vision documents, disconnect between vision document and SWOT analysis, too ambitious nature of plans, mismatch between costs and resource mobilization, lacunae in implementation plans and result orientation.
A day after the announcement of the first list of 20 smart cities, Cabinet Secretary P.K.Sinha interacted with the Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs and Municipal Commissioners of all 97 mission cities on the principles of preparation of smart city plans and urged those cities not included in the first list not to lose heart and instead to revisit them for addressing deficiencies. During the video-conferencing by Cabinet Secretary, several cities admitted to lacunae in different aspects of plans and assured to correct the same.
Ministry of Urban Development held a Consultation Workshop for the 23 cities and towns participating in Fast Track Competition besides holding several Studio Workshops wherein respective Smart City Plans were ‘read out to rectify’.
The 23 cities that submitted their revised Smart City Plans under Fast Track Competition along with respective rank in the first round of competition are : Warangal, Telangana (23), Chandigarh (24), Lucknow (29), New Town Kolkata (30), Goa (32), Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh (39), Dharmashala (59), Faridabad, Haryana (60), Raipur, Chattisgarh (62), Bhagalpur, Bihar (65), Shillong, Meghalaya (70), Namchi, Sikkim (71), Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands(73), Diu, Daman & Diu (74), Oulgaret, Puducherry (75), Silvassa, Dadra & Nagar Haveli (78), Imphal, Manipal (83), Ranchi, Jharkhand(84), Agartala, Tripura (85), Kohima, Nagaland (90), Kavaratti, Lakshadweep(95) and Dehradun, Uttarakhand (97).
The regular second round of City Challenge Competition for the remaining 97 cities included in the Smart City Mission got underway on April 1st and these cities will have to submit revised smart city plans by June end this year. Those of the 23 cities included in the Fast Track Competition and fail to be selected can also join this second round of competition.
While 20 smart cities were selected during 2015-16 as per the Mission Guidelines, another 40 would be selected during 2016-17 and the remaining 40 during the next financial year. Each city selected in different rounds of competition will be given central assistance of Rs.200 crore in the first year and Rs.100 crore each during the subsequent three financial years. State governments and respective urban local bodies will provide matching funds to the same amount. Accordingly, each mission city would get a total assistance of Rs.1,000 crore over a five year period.