The Government is likely to entrust the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), an autonomous body, with the task of overseeing the ambitious 100 smart cities project, said a senior official in the Ministry of Urban Development.
Stating that Urban Development is a State subject and, hence, States will have to take the first step with respect to identification of projects, etc., the official said: We are not willing to execute the projects. But we feel it would be a good idea to create a monitoring and handholding mechanism.
Norms by September
It could be an autonomous body, the official said. The body will take care of the entire gamut of smart cities, the official said, adding that final guidelines for this project are expected to come by September 10.
NIUA was established in 1976 as an autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act. It is supported by the Ministry of Urban Development, State Governments, urban and regional development authorities and other agencies concerned with urban issues.
While identification of the projects will primarily be done by the States, the Centre will have some inputs as well. The Ministry has made it clear that it will not develop greenfield projects, the official said.
Another official from the Ministry of Urban Development said that a special purpose vehicle will be created for this purpose. It is also closely looking at the Singapore model with respect to knowledge and expertise, the official said, adding that many countries have shown interest in investing in India. The Ministry, in an earlier statement, had said a smart city could be one with technology-based governance that enables efficient public services and has 24x7 water and power supply, 100 per cent sewerage, drainage and solid waste management facilities, as well as top-class infrastructure.
To mobilise the required resources, funding through public-private partnerships, multi-lateral agencies and viability gap funding by the Central Government can be explored.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
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