Mumbai: Even as the Union Cabinet gave its nod to NDA government's flagship smart city project last month, no city from Maharashtra has yet been included in the programme as the Centre's guidelines are awaited for it, an official said.
“Till now, no city has been included in the smart cities scheme. We have to first shortlist cities for the scheme in the first phase. They will then need to compete with other cities to get selected,” the official in state Urban Development department has said.
A total of 100 cities will be selected for the project through a ‘Smart City Challenge' competition. “However, states cannot shortlist their cities until the Centre issues guidelines pertaining to the criteria of a smart city. We are still waiting for the guidelines and expecting them to be issued soon,” he said.
The Union government has planned to develop 100 smart cities. The principal concept behind the smart city would be that offices, hospitals, schools and markets should be at a distance that can be reached within a maximum of 30 minutes.
“Decent living option to every resident and offering sustainable economic and employment opportunity to a wide section of its residents would be the main focus of smart city,” he said.
The Centre has planned to identify 20 smart cities in 2015, 40 in 2016 and another 40 in 2017. “At the beginning, the Centre may put a cap of 2-3 smart cities per state,” the official said.
“The cities will have to compete on several parameters to be eligible. The parameters are likely to be vision, progress under ‘Swachh Bharat Mission', payments of salaries to municipal staff on time, information and grievance redressal mechanisms, self-financing abilities of the cities, service level and track record in implementing reforms,” he added.
According to the Union Urban Development Ministry, around Rs 40 lakh crore will be required to build 100 smart cities.