Smart city development not elitist; it’s a trigger for inclusive and comprehensive urban development, says Shri Venkaiah Naidu
Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venakaiah Naidu has asserted that smart city development is not elitist and on the other hand it has triggered inclusive and comprehensive urban planning and development addressing the inherited deficit in urban governance. Addressing a Business Conclave at Shri Ram College of Commerce here today, the Minister said that Smart City Mission has brought about a paradigm shift by enabling the mission cities approach the challenges differently rather than doing different things.
Mission is not about doing different things, but doing things differently and a behavioral change initiative, says Shri Naidu
Shri Venkaiah Naidu explained that the Smart City Mission has been so designed to promote inclusive development benefitting all sections of people besides promoting sustainable urban development practices and actions in the context of urban citizens being starved of breathing and living spaces. He said that this mission is a ‘behavioral change’ initiative requiring all stakeholders including elected and executive leadership and citizens to change their attitudes and approaches towards urban planning and execution. Smart leaders and smart citizens are crucial for the success of the mission, he said.
Mission progress on course; visible impact soon to be felt, asserts Minister
Asserting that the mission is progressing well, Shri Naidu said that since the announcement of first batch of 20 cities for smart city development on January 28, 2015, these mission cities have moved quickly towards appointing Project Management Consultants, Special Purpose Vehicles and converting city-wise smart city plans for awarding project works for implementation. He informed that 114 projects worth Rs.1,582 cr would be completed by June this year and another 186 projects costing Rs.11,749 cr have been awarded for execution and another 210 projects worth Rs.7,336 cr would be awarded soon. By June this year i.e with in two years of the launch of the mission, a total of 510 projects with a total investment of Rs.20,669 cr would take off the ground amounting to about 50% of the total investment proposed, he explained. Stating that awarding and execution of remaining projects would pick up further momentum from now on, Shri Naidu said that the mission is on course and visible impact will be felt soon.
Credit Rating of cities gains momentum; 44 get ratings
Referring to the growing spirit of competition among cities and towns to do better than others, Shri Naidu said that moving away from archaic ways of urban governance, cities are now vying for credit ratings for mobilization of resources through municipal bonds, reflecting on their keenness to think and act differently. He informed that of the 97 smart cities, 89 have initiated this process of which 70 have completed it and 26 of them have already been given credit rating. Eight cities viz., Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Kakinada, Pune, Rajkot and Visakhapatnam have already appointed Transactional Advisors for issuing municipal bonds. Total of 44 cities including 25 AMRUT cities have so far got credit ratings, Shri Naidu informed.
Details of cities and credit ratings: