Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the first batch of 20 cities selected in the first round of competition to launch Smart City projects by June 25 this year, marking the one year of launch of the Mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.
Naidu urged representatives from the 23 cities participating in the Fast Track competition like Warangal, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhagalpur, Dehradun etc., to improve their proposals by learning from the experience of the first batch of 20 cities.
He asked the top 20 cities to get going by operationalising Special Purpose Vehicles and launching smart city projects.
He was addressing a workshop ‘India Smart City Mission: Next Steps’ attended by officials from states and union territories and municipal commissioners of the 20 top ranked cities and 23 cities participating in the fast track competition. forward.
Naidu asserted that the Smart City competition was completely city neutral neither favouring nor discriminating against any participant city.
He said that the evaluating criteria including implementation framework, result orientation, citizen participation, smartness of solutions, city vision and strategy, processes followed etc do not favour or go against any city.
“What mattered is not where a city stands now but where it likes to go and how it proposes to go based on a vision drawn from the inherent strengths of a city and backed by a credible action plan”.
Naidu noted that “lesser known Davanagere in Karnataka and Solpaur in Maharashtra scored higher than the well known New Delhi Municipal Council. Little known Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh did much better than the mighty Chennai in terms of ranks.
“I see no reason why Bhagalpur in Bihar, Ranchi in Jharkhand and Dehradun in Uttarakhand could not do what Belagavi in Karnataka did in coming out with a sound vision and a credible strategy to realise it and making it to the top 20”.