Giving a major boost to the Smart Cities Mission, the Union Cabinet Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Central government spending worth ₹98,000 crore under two new urban missions over the next five years.
In the Smart Cities Mission, each selected city would get central assistance of ₹100 crore per year for five years. Cities to be developed will be selected through a ‘competition’ intended to ascertain their ability to achieve mission objectives. Each State will shortlist a number of smart city aspirants, which will prepare proposals for the Centre. The Mission of building 100 smart cities intends to promote adoption of smart solutions for efficient use of available assets, resources and infrastructure with the objective of enhancing the quality of urban life and providing a clean and sustainable environment.
AMRUT, the new avatar of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which seeks to lay a foundation to enable cities and towns to eventually grow into smart cities, will be implemented in 500 locations with a population of one lakh and above. These include cities situated on stems of main rivers, a few capital cities and important cities located in hilly areas and tourist spots. Under this mission, States will get flexibility of designing schemes that best suit their needs. States will only submit annual action plans to the Centre for broad concurrence, based on which funds will be released. But in a significant departure from the JNNURM, the Centre will not appraise individual projects.