Smart cities will be selected through a bottom-up rather than top-down approach, where the decision would be made by the citizens and municipalities concerned, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.
“For the first time such an approach is being taken, where neither the centre nor states will decide. The decision to become a smart city will be taken by the citizens themselves, by the municipalities,” Modi said launching the three missions on Smart Cities, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All (Urban).
“The city’s vision towards its future development is necessary for any programme’s success. Otherwise it will get bogged down, where state-level departments and agencies are awaiting directions from the centre, while cities are awaiting a decision from the state governments,” he said.
“It will be a selection process for smart cities according to parameters, and thereafter the Centre and states will come in to help realise it. Competition is critical factor for the success of the programme,” Modi added.
Smart City aspirants will be selected through a “City Challenge Competition” intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission objectives.
Cities must qualify themselves through city-challenge criteria like sanitation, clean water, power, greenery quotient and ratio between revenue and expenditure on municipal salaries.
The government has approved the Smart Cities Mission under which 100 new smart cities, which would promote adoption of smart solutions for efficient use of available assets and enhance the quality of urban life, would be made.
Each selected city would get central assistance of Rs.100 crore per year for five years.