Govt selects 98 cities for second stage of smart city challenge

The government on Thursday announced 98 cities, which will compete for the second stage of the smart cities challenge.

Out of these 98 cities, 24 are capital cities, another 24 are business and industrial centres, 18 are of cultural and tourism importance, five are port cities and three are education and healthcare hubs, union minister for urban development M Venkaih Naidu said.

"Capital cities Itanagar, Patna, Shimla, Bengaluru, Daman, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Gangtok and Kolkata could not be nominated," Naidu said while addressing a press conference in the capital today.

Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have the highest number of cities – 12 each – selected for developing smart cities, followed by Maharashtra (10) and Karnataka and Gujarat (6 each).

Only 12 cities have been shortlisted from Uttar Pradesh against 13 cities allocated to the state.

In Maharashtra, the cities selected for developing as smart cities include - Greater Mumbai,  Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Nashik,  Amravati, Solapur, Nagpur,  Aurangabad and Pune.

Out of the 98 cities, 90 cities have also already been selected for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

J&K has sought more time to decide the nominee from the state, while UP has reported that Meerut and Raibareily have been tied in the evaluation. Hence, the remaining two nominees will be decided in some time.

The 98 selected cities will now be allocated Rs2 crore each for preparation of smart city proposals for competing in the second stage.

The proposals will be judged on credibility of implementation, city vision and strategy, economic and environmental impacts, cost effectiveness, innovation and scalability and processes followed, including citizen implementation.

Top 20 scoring cities will be chosen in a few months and Rs100 crore per city per year will be provided by the centre for the next five years.