Smart City: Rs 500 cr assistance to cities not project-specific
New Delhi: The Urban Development Ministry has clarified to stakeholders in the 'Smart City' programme that the central assistance of Rs 500 cr RPT Rs 500 cr each to the 100 mission cities is "not project-specific" and the same can be used for any component of the 'Smart City Plan' conforming to the mission's guidelines.
The Ministry officials held an interaction with mayors and representatives of urban local bodies, at a two-day 'Idea Camp' on Smart Cities, which concluded here today.
In a statement, the Ministry of Urban Development also clarified that it does not intend to come out with a 'Model Smart City Plan' as such plans are city-specific and past experiences have shown that such model documents tend to be copied without any application of mind.
"The central assistance of Rs 500 cr RPT Rs 500 cr per each to the 100 Mission Cities is not project-specific and the same can be used for any component of the 'Smart City Plan' conforming to the mission's guidelines," it said.
Participants at the event were given an account of strategic planning adopted for development of cities like Washington, Oakland (California), London, Barcelona, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Mumbai etc, the statement said.
During the camp, issues were raised by representatives of states and urban local bodies regarding implementation of the Smart City Mission and they were clarified by senior Urban Development Ministry officials.
One of the issues raised by the states and mayors, was to give appropriate weightage for 'Pan-City Smart' solutions while evaluating the Smart City Plans in the second stage of City Challenge Competition, given the benefits that flow from them to larger sections of people in urban areas.
After discussing this suggestion with Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu, who is at present on an official visit to France, the Ministry officials assured the participants that it will be given due consideration.
In his address Urban Development Secretary Madhusudan Prasad made it clear that selection of smart city aspirants in the second stage of City Challenge Competition will be based only on merit and the Ministry was not obliged to pick up 20 cities for financing during this current financial year.
He said only those cities whose Smart City Plans come up to the expectations will be picked up and there will be no state-wise caps for selection of cities in the second round of competition.
Urban local bodies were urged to prepare smart city vision statements based on detailed analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).
Anthony Williams, former Mayor of Washington DC, Stephen Yarwood, former Mayor of Adelaide, Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE (London school of Economics) Cities, Rose Gill Hearn, former Commissioner of New York's Investigation Department and others addressed the participants at the Ideas Camp.