NEW DELHI, JUNE 23:
Tiruppur, Tirunelveli, Tiruchirapalli and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu are among the new batch of 30 cities announced by the Centre on Friday to be developed as smart cities, taking the total number to 90. Thiruvananthapuram, the captital of Kerala, topped the list in this round of selection, followed by Naya Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh.
Announcing the new batch of smart cities, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, said that 45 cities contested for the 40 available smart city slots, but only 30 were selected to ensure feasible and workable plans.
“Of the 30 cities announced, 26 have proposed affordable housing projects that benefit the urban poor, 26 cities will be taking up school and hospital projects, 29 will be taking up redesign and redevelopment of roads,” he said in an official release.
Naidu said that the 30 cities proposed a total investment of ₹57,393 crore under their respective smart city plans.
With this the total investment approved under the smart city plans of 90 cities has gone up to ₹1,91,155 crore under the Smart City Mission, which was launched on June 25, 2015.
Twenty cities will vie for the remaining 10 slots. They are; Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Biharsharif (Bihar), Diu (Daman & Diu), Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Navi Mumbai, Greater Mumbai and Amaravati (Maharashtra), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dindigul and Erode (Tamil Nadu), Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia (West Bengal), Meerut, Raebareli, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and Rampur (UP).
Liveability index launched
On the occasion, the government also launched a City Liveability Index, which will provide a common framework for helping cities know where they stand. In all, 116 cities will take up this exercise, and they will be measured on 76 parameters defined in the index.
Meanwhile, the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), a global coalition, has called for an “inclusionary and sustainable approach to development” of smart cities, including human rights and environment impact studies before project clearances.
In a statement, Shivani Chaudhry, Executive Director, HLRN, said: “There is an urgent need to ensure that the government immediately develops human rights indicators to guarantee that the trajectory of development in these cities and their surrounding areas emphasises inclusion, social justice, equality, non-discrimination, and the progressive realisation of human rights of all city residents, especially the most marginalised.”
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