13 cities win fast-track Smart City competition

The Urban Development Ministry on Tuesday announced 13 winners of the fast-track Smart City competition, with Lucknow topping the list. These cities can now compete to be a “Smart City” in the next cycle of “India Smart Cities Challenge”.

Announcing the list, Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said Lucknow, which could not make it to the first list of 20 mission cities last year, had improved the quality of its Smart City plan. Twenty-three cities participated in the fast-track competition.

The other cities that made it to the next round are Warangal (Telangana), Shimla, (Himachal Pradesh), Chandigarh, Raipur (Chhattisgarh), New Town Kolkata (West Bengal), Bhagalpur (Bihar), Panaji (Goa), Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar Islands), Imphal (Manipur), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Faridabad (Haryana).

The minister said these 13 cities were selected on the basis of marks scored by them in the fast-track competition and the benchmarks set by the top performers in the first cycle of the challenge.

Naidu said these 13 cities have substantially improved their Smart City plans by addressing the deficiencies identified in the first round of the competition. This ensured a better profiling of the cities in terms of infrastructure gaps and baseline service levels, which effected consistency between the citizens’ aspirations and action plans, more feasible resource mobilisation plans, and coordinated and integrated picture of how individual projects will contribute to area-level changes.

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