Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ranchi and Bhubaneswar are among the cities who have found place in the coveted Smart Cities project list with Uttar Pradesh bagging maximum 13 nominations.
However, poll-bound Bihar's capital Patna, Shimla, Thiruvananthapuram, Gangtok and Bengaluru did not make it to the list issued by the Urban Development Ministry, which includes 98 cities as of now.
Some smaller cities have outdone the state capitals to bag the place in the list. In Bihar, Bihar Sharif got the nomination but Patna could not make it. In Himachal Pradesh Dharamsala has beaten Shimla. Shivamogga in Karnataka was also nominated.
All the 100 cities being nominated as smart city will now be required to prepare "Smart City Plans" for each of them. These Plans will be evaluated in the second stage of City Challenge competition by an Apex Body in the UD Ministry.
As per the criteria adopted, UP got the maximum of 13 smart city slots. To ensure geographical equity, every state/UT was assigned a minimum of one slot each. Vijayawada, Raipur and Guwahati have also made it to the smart cities list.
All Union Territories, including Delhi, have found place in the list.
"We have received 98 nominations for Smart City mission in time after detailed evaluation of all urban local bodies in each state and UT is a remarkable achievement.
"This is against the past trend of lethargy and casual approach. This reflects the new sense of urgency on the part of states and UTs to make a difference to our urban landscape," Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told PTI.
Based on this second stage evaluation, the top scoring 20 cities among the 100 will be extended financial support Rs 200 cr each during this financial year. In the next two years, 40 cities each will be selected for receiving central funding.Others will be asked to work on the deficiencies identified.
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