As the June 2023 deadline for completing the Smart Cities Mission approaches, the government has asked 20 of the worst-performing cities — ones that have completed the fewest projects under the mission — to buck up.
GS II: Government Policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is the Smart Cities Mission?
- What kinds of projects were proposed?
- What is the status of the projects?
What is the Smart Cities Mission?
- The Smart Cities Mission is an initiative of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry that was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015.
- Cities across the country were asked to submit proposals for projects to improve municipal services and to make their jurisdictions more liveable.
- Between January 2016 and June 2018 (when the last city, Shillong, was chosen), the Ministry selected 100 cities for the Mission over five rounds.
- The projects were supposed to be completed within five years of the selection of the city, but in 2021 the Ministry changed the deadline for all cities to June 2023, which was earlier the deadline for Shillong alone.
What kinds of projects were proposed?
- After the Ministry gave broad guidelines to the participating cities, the project proposals ranged from making certain stretches of roads more accessible and pedestrian-friendly to more capital-intensive ones like laying water pipelines and constructing sewage treatment plants.
- All 100 cities have also constructed Integrated Command and Control Centres to monitor all security, emergency and civic services.
- During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, these centres were converted into emergency response units by many of the cities.
What is the status of the projects?
- As of March 3, the 100 cities have issued work orders for 7,799 projects worth Rs 1.80 lakh crore, the government told Parliament on March 13.
- Out of these, 5,399 projects worth Rs.1.02 lakh crore have been completed, and the rest are ongoing.
- Only around 20 cities are likely to meet the June deadline; the rest will need more time.
- Cities selected in January and June 2018 have achieved 44% of their targets, while those selected in 2016 in the second round are not much farther ahead with 46% completion.
- Shillong has completed just one of its 18 proposed projects.
Source: Indian Express