New Delhi: The Central government will announce today the names of the next set of cities to be included in the second phase of the Smart Cities Mission. The government will name 27 cities which will be included in the second phase of the mission.
The announcement will be done by Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu.
So far the government has already announced the names of 33 cities which were selected in the first phase of the programme.
The mission, which is one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects, was launched with the aim of developing 100 smart cities. While 98 cities were shortlisted at the time of initial submissions in December, the government included Meerut and Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir in the competition. Seven capital cities—Patna, Shimla, Naya Raipur, Itanagar, Amaravati, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram—have also been allowed to participate.
People are expecting more cities from UP to be included in the list given that the state will go to polls next year. However the officials maintain that the list is prepare completely based on the city plan.
"The criteria is very clear we are including only those cities which are meeting the parameters laid by the Mission Guideline," a senior official from Ministry of Urban Develoopment said.
According to the guidelines of the mission, the government was to select 20 cities in the first phase in January and 40 in the next two years. However, in May this year, 13 more cities were included in the first phase to expand the representation of states in the mission.
The Smart Cities Mission, launched in June 2015, has been allotted a budget of Rs.48,000 crore for five years.