BHUBANESWAR: The State Government submitted a proposal to the Centre to cover 10 urban centres under the Rs 100 Smart Cities’ plan.
The proposal was submitted to the Centre by Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Pushpendra Singhdeo at the recently concluded meeting of the State Urban Development Ministers convened by the Centre.
The urban centres are proposed in Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Bhadrak, Balangir, Jajpur, Jeypore and Bhawanipatna. Official sources said though modalities for the scheme are yet to be prepared, the State Government has submitted its proposal. The State Government is yet to receive any guideline from the Centre for identification of the urban centres to be included in the scheme.
In its first budget, the NDA Government had announced the scheme of smart city. A provision of `7,060 crore has been made in the budget for the scheme with each urban centre to get `70.6 crore.
Official sources said since the funds provided in the budget will not be adequate to develop the urban centres under the scheme, financial assistance from financial institutions will be required for its implementation.
The concept of Smart City is a vision of an urban space that is livable and ecology-friendly, technologically-integrated and meticulously-planned with the use of information technology. India is rapidly urbanising and a study suggests that nearly 60 crore people will be living in cities by 2030 as against 29 crore reported in 2001 census.
Odisha is also not far behind though the rate of urbanisation is comparatively slower than many other States.
Meanwhile, in a bid to give a facelift to urban infrastructure facilities in and around Bhubaneswar, the Housing and Urban Development Department has proposed a corpus fund of `1,000 crore.