There is a huge scramble among the temple cities across India to secure the place to be one in the Smart City Developmental Plan.
The cities were selected through a contest among 63 cities, and the chosen ones are from 12 States, with three from Maharashtra, four each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, three from Uttar Pradesh and two each from Punjab and Rajasthan.
The Golden Temple city of Amritsar has topped the list of 27 new smart cities and the third list includes Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi. With this, the number of cities under the Smart Cities Implementation Act has shot up to 60.
Minister of Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu says that the cities have rolled up their sleeves to identify the infrastructure improvements and service delivery lapses and have come up with feasible plans for meeting the requirements. Nagaland and Sikkim have risen up to join the league for the very first time.
An investment of Rs.66,883 cr has been planned under Smart City, including Rs.42,524 cr under Area Based Development and another Rs.11,379 cr for technology based Pan-city solutions that benefits all the citizens of respective cities. With this, the total investment proposed by the 60 cities selected so far has gone up to Rs.1,44,742 cr is in the pipeline. The next round of contest to select the remaining 40 cities will begin in January next year.