The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the second phase of the Smart Cities Mission. It gave a nod to the City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain 2.0 (CITIIS 2.0), a programme linked to Smart Cities and conceived by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in partnership with foreign agencies.
The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur announced this in a briefing after the Cabinet meeting.
The programme will run for a period of four years, from 2023 till 2027.
The programme plans to provide financial assistance to projects that are competitively chosen to advance the circular economy, with an emphasis on integrated waste management at the municipal level, climate-focused reform initiatives at the state level, and institutional development and information sharing at the national level.
The foreign agencies involved in the programme include French Development Agency (AFD); Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German state-owned investment and development bank; the European Union (EU), besides the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).
A loan of Rs. 1760 crore (EUR 200 million) from AFD and KfW (EUR 100 million each) and an EU grant for technical support of Rs. 106 crore (EUR 12 million) would be used to fund the initiative.
The goal of CITIIS 2.0 is to build on and scale up the successes and lessons learned from CITIIS 1.0. With a total investment of Rs 933 crore (EUR 106 million), MoHUA, AFD, EU, and NIUA jointly launched CITIIS 1.0 in 2018. With programmes for smart schools, environmentally friendly transport corridors, and bio-diversity parks, it is active in 12 cities.
The CITIIS 2.0 follows the CITIIS 1.0 paradigm and has three main components for creating healthy and beautiful cities, with the first component costing Rs 1866 crore in 18 cities. In this section, developing projects aimed at enhancing climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation through projects chosen through a competitive process will get financial and technical support.
All States and UTs will be eligible for support in the second part based on demand. The States will get assistance in setting up or bolstering their current State climate centres, climate cells, or equivalents, establishing climate data observatories at the state and local levels, facilitating climate-data driven planning, creating climate action plans, and enhancing the skills of municipal officials.
In the third component, there will be interventions at all three levels; Centre, State and City to further climate governance in urban India through institutional strengthening.
The programme will supplement climate actions of the Government of India through its ongoing National programs (National Mission on Sustainable Habitat, AMRUT 2.0, Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 and Smart Cities Mission), as well as contributing positively to India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and Conference of the Parties (COP26) commitments.