On 25 June 2015, the ‘Smart Cities Mission’ was launched by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. The mission focuses on urbanisation including a program to develop 100 cities in India, making them environmentally friendly, promoting sustainability creating a green city for the future. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, said at inauguration of Smart City Expo India 2018, that the Smart Cities Mission in India is an urban renaissance.
Statement of the Prime Minister of India at the launch of ‘Smart Cities Mission’
“The smart cities concept is a big people’s movement. I am seeing that the implementation has been successful. There is an enthusiasm to make their city come first through the competition. This government is holding competitions to move forward and looking for ways to do so.”
At start of the ‘Smart City Mission’, there was 5,151 projects aiming to develop the 100 cities, which had an estimated cost of Rs 2 lakh crore ($28 Bn) on the development. Presently, 534 projects have been completed and 10,116 crores ($ 1,45 Bn) have been spent on it.
Why the Government is focusing on a major investment program?
India’s urban population is growing at a fast pace and is expected to reach 600 million in the next 10 years. As a reason of which, the government took the step of modernising the cities with poor infrastructure and inadequate public services.
The Union Ministry of Urban Development collaborated with the State Governments of the respective cities in order to implement this mission. PM Narendra Modi added:
“We should not treat urbanisation as a problem but as an opportunity. If we start thinking about the future we will be able to change it into an opportunity. Cities have the power which are seen as the growth centres. Where there is poverty, people move to cities in the hope of jobs. It is our responsibility to enable cities to become centres of growth and development for the poor.”
What is the current status of the project?
According to statistics, 1,177 schemes of about Rs 43,493 crore was implemented. While the process of tender of Rs. 38,207 crore ($5,5 Bn) has been started on 677 project.
This smart city agenda is to strengthen the economy as well as promoting the quality life of its citizens. Also, improving environmental sustainability through smart solutions.The Smart Cities Mission says noticeable results will start to be seen after 2022.
According to the ‘mission mantra’, smart cities in India is not just simply providing extra resources by Governments for urbanisation. The aim is to build urban areas for the wellbeing of the citizens, to strengthen and diversify the economy though smart solutions.