Minister of Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu asked the first batch of 20 cities selected in the first round of competition to launch respective smart city projects by 25th of June this year marking the one year of launch of the Mission by Prime Minister last year. He addressed a workshop ‘India Smart City Mission: Next Steps’.
Senior officials from States and Union Territories and Municipal Commissioners of the 20 top ranked cities and 23 cities participating in the Fast Track Competition attended the day long workshop to discuss the way forward.
Naidu asserted that the Smart City Competition was completely city neutral neither favouring nor discriminating against any participant city. Elaborating on this, he said that the evaluating criteria including implementation framework, result orientation, citizen participation, smartness of solutions, city vision and strategy, processes followed etc do not favour or go against any city.
The Minister said ‘what mattered is not where a city stands now but where it likes to go and how it proposes to go based on a vision drawn from the inherent strengths of a city and backed by a credible action plan’.
Referring to the top 20 ranked cities, Shri Naidu noted that ‘lesser known Davanagere in Karnataka and Solpaur in Maharashtra scored higher than the well known New Delhi Municipal Council. Little known Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh did much better than the mighty Chennai in terms of ranks. I see no reason why Bhagalpur in Bihar, Ranchi in Jharkhand and Dehradun in Uttarakhand could not do what Belagavi in Karnataka did in coming out with a sound vision and a credible strategy to realise it and making it to the top 20”.