Science & Tech

A status check on the Smart Cities Mission

As the June 2023 Smart Cities Mission deadline approaches, the government asks the 20 worst-performing cities to improve.

What is the Mission of Smart Cities?

  • The Smart Cities Mission is a Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry initiative that PM launched on June 25, 2015.
  • Cities across the country were asked to submit proposals for projects that would improve municipal services and make their areas more livable.
  • The Ministry selected 100 cities for the Mission in five rounds between January 2016 and June 2018 (when the final city, Shillong, was chosen).

The project deadline

  • The projects were supposed to be finished within five years of the city’s selection.
  • However, in 2021 the Ministry changed the deadline for all cities to June 2023, which was earlier the deadline for Shillong alone.

What types of projects have been proposed?

  • Proposals ranged from making certain stretches of road more accessible and pedestrian-friendly to more capital-intensive projects such as laying water pipelines and building sewage treatment plants.
  • Integrated Command and Control Centers have been built in all 100 cities.
  • All security, emergency, and civic services are monitored by these centres.
  • Many of these centres were converted into emergency response units by cities during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is the current state of the projects?

  • As of March 3, 100 municipalities had issued work orders for 7,799 projects totaling Rs 1.80 lakh crore.
  • Out of these, 5,399 projects worth Rs.1.02 lakh crore have been completed, with the remainder still in the works.
  • Only about 20 cities will most likely meet the June deadline. The rest will take longer.
  • Shillong has only completed one of the 18 proposed projects.
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