[ecis2016.org] Lauding the central government’s ‘Smart Cities’ mission, urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that it has triggered inclusive and comprehensive urban planning in the country
Urban development minister, M Venkaiah Naidu on February 7, 2017, said that the government’s ‘Smart Cities’ mission, has brought about a paradigm shift, wherein cities approach the challenges differently, rather than doing different things.
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Naidu said that the mission has been designed to promote inclusive development, benefitting all sections of the society, besides promoting sustainable urban development practices in the context of citizens being ‘starved of breathing and living spaces’.
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Asserting that mission is progressing well, Naidu said that since the announcement of the first batch of 20 cities for smart city development on January 28, 2015, these mission cities have moved quickly towards implementation of the projects.
By June 2017, or within two years of the launch of the mission, he said that a total of 510 projects, with a total investment of Rs 20,669 crores, would take off. Stating that awarding and execution of remaining projects would gather momentum, Naidu said that the mission is on course and visible impact will be felt soon.
Naidu said that moving away from archaic ways of urban governance, cities are now vying for credit ratings, for mobilisation of resources through municipal bonds, reflecting on their keenness to think and act differently. He said 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 ratings. A total of 44 cities, including 25 under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), have so far got credit ratings, Naidu added.
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