A smart city uses information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to improve contact between citizens and government.
The government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision of developing 100 smart cities as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernizing the existing mid-sized cities.
The government came with 20 smart cities in 2015,will identify 40 in 2016 and another 40 in 2017.
The 100 potential smart cities nominated by all the states and union territories based on Stage 1 criteria will prepare smart city plans which will be evaluated in stage 2 of the competition for prioritizing cities for financing.
In the first round of this stage, 20 top scorers will be chosen for financing during this financial year.
The remaining will be asked to make up the deficiencies identified by the Apex Committee in the Ministry of Urban Development for participation in the next two rounds of competition. 40 cities each will be selected for financing during the next rounds of competition.
A total of ₹98000 crore (US$14 billion) has been approved by the Indian Cabinet for development of 100 smart cities and rejuvenation of 500 others.
Each city would get ₹100 crore (US$15 million) every year from the Centre for five years. The remaining money has to come from the states, urban bodies and the consortium that they form with corporate entities. Also, 10 per cent of budget allocation will be given to states / union territories as incentive based on achievement of reforms during the previous year.
In the 2014 Union budget of India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated ₹7016 crore (US$1.0 billion) for the 100 smart cities. However, only ₹924 crore (US$140 million) could be spent out of the allocated amount till February 2015. Hence, the 2015 Union budget of India allocated only ₹143 crore (US$21 million) for the project.
98 cities from all the states and Union Territories have so far been included in the Smart City Mission, launched by Prime Minister in June 2015.
This first round of selection of 98 cities was made based on competition among various urban local bodies in each state, based on a set of criteria.
In the second stage of ‘City Challenge’ competition, 20 top scoring mission cities will be selected from among the 98 city level Smart City Plans to be received by December 15, for financing during the current financial year.
First batch of cities to be selected in the second stage of competition will be provided with central assistance of ₹200 crore (US$30 million) crore each during this financial year followed by Rs 100 crore per year during the next three years.
Urban Development Ministry had earlier released ₹2 crore (US$300,000) crore each to mission cities for preparation of Smart City Plans.
Core infrastructure elements of Smart Cities
Adequate water supply
Assured electricity supply
Sanitation, including solid waste management
Efficient urban mobility and public transport
Affordable housing (especially for the poor)
Robust IT connectivity and digitization
Good governance (especially e-governance and citizen participation)
Safety and security of citizens (particularly women, children and the elderly)
Smart cities are seen as a key to India’s economic and social growth