Friday, August 1, 2014

10 Cities For Smart Tag

Note: Thanks to Pushpendra babu for including Bhawanipatna in 10 smart city tag proposal by the state Govt. We shall focus in this issue to take it further, July 31, 2014
Bhubaneswar : 31/July/2014 
Even as Narendra Modi-led Government at the Centre, in its maiden union budget, announced building 100 smart cities across the country, the modalities of which are yet to commence, the State Government has already proposed to cover 10 cities under the ‘100 smart cities’ plan.
Housing & Urban Development Minister Puspendra Singh Deo informed the Media men here that the State Government has already proposed names of 10 cities to the Central government for the purpose. At a recently concluded State Urban Ministers Conclave, he had officially given the proposal to the Centre.
The names of cities the State Government has proposed include Bhubaneswar and Puri, which are already covered under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM).  While Cutack has been declared a heritage city, two more cities have declared as new municipal corporations Rourkela and Sambalpur and other cities include Bhadrak, Bolangir, Jajpur, Jeypore, and Bhawanipatna.

However, Kendrapara municipality has not been enlisted in the proposal of the State given to the Centre. On the other hand, Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda said recently that he has proposed inclusion of the city under ‘Smart City Plan’ and a proposal was given by him to the Central government. He expressed hope that his proposal would be considered.  
Elaborating further, Mr.Singh Deo said, “We have only given the proposal of 10 cities to the Centre. The modalities for the smart city plan are yet to be prepared. We have not yet received any plan from the Centre either about modalities or about identification of cities. When we will receive detailed information from the Centre, we will work out what best can be done”.
Notably, in his maiden budget speech, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had made the grandiose promise of building 100 smart cities as part of Modi’s acche din vision. He has also allocated Rs 7,060 crore which is little over Rs 70 crore per city. Since the funds allocated for each city are not enough and it is unlikely that the government will have the resources to fund for building smart cities, it was hinted in the budget that the government would relax norms for foreign direct investment (FDI). In the meantime, France, Japan and Singapore countries have been contacted for collaborating in the projects.

The concept of smart city, sources reveal, is a vision of an urban space that is liveable and ecologically friendly, technologically integrated and meticulously planned with the use of information technology. Notably, the country is fast urbanising and a study suggests that nearly 600 million of people will be living in cities by 2030 as against 290 million reported in 2001 census.

Odisha is also not far behind although the rate of urbanisation in the State comparatively slower than many other states. 

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