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Guwahati included in Smart City Mission

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Jan 28 - In an encouraging news for the beleaguered Tarun Gogoi Government, Guwahati has been named among 20 smart cities of the country under Mission Transform India.

Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu today announced the 20 winners of the Smart City Challenge competition for financing during this financial year. Naidu said that the selection was totally objective and transparent, based on standardised processes.

�Smart City Mission marks a paradigm shift towards urban development in the country, since it is based on �bottom up� approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of city vision and smart city plans and the urban local bodies and State Governments piloting the mission with little say for the Ministry of Urban Development,� Naidu said. He also observed that it is for the first time in the world that investments in urban sector are being made based on competition-based selection of cities.

Informing that 1.52 crore citizens participated in shaping smart city plans of 97 cities and towns in the first round of the competition, Naidu said that this enthusiastic participation of people is a major positive outcome.

At least three cities from Madhya Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and one each from the remaining five made it to the winning list.

The Minister informed that 23 States and Union Territories, which could not make to the list of winners, will be given an opportunity to participate in a �fast track competition�. Each top ranking city from these States can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15 for inclusion in the mission this year.

Naidu informed that the 20 winning cities and towns have proposed a total investment of Rs 50,802 crore over five years with all the cities proposing the public-private-partnership as a major vehicle of resource mobilisation.

At least 10 of the 20 cities have proposed to mobilise Rs 8,521 crore under the PPP model, while others have also indicated the same option. A total area of 26,735 acres has been identified by these cities for making them smart through necessary interventions.

Elaborating on the advantages of Smart City Mission, Naidu said that this leads to integrated urban planning by addressing the issue of infrastructure, land use planning, transport, urban design and architecture in a holistic manner unlike in the past.

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