New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS): The government has approved a proposed master plan to develop 50 solar cities, for which master plans have been prepared for 46, an official statement said on Sunday.
Three of these cities under the programme are planned to be set up the national capital region, the ministry of new and renewable energy said in a status note.
"At least one city in each State to a maximum of five cities in a State may be supported by the ministry," it said.
Out of the proposed 60 solar cities, sanctions have been issued for 50 cities that include New Delhi, Agra, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Amritsar, New Town (Kolkata), Howrah, Madhyamgram, Kochi and Bhopal.
Master plans have been prepared for 46, including Agra, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Surat, Thane, Shirdi, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Imphal, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bilaspur, Raipur, Agartala, Guwahati, Jorhat, Mysore, Shimla, Hamirpur, Jodhpur, Vijayawada, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Dehradun, Panaji and New Delhi (NDMC area), the report said.
Further, in-principle approvals have been given to five cities - Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Indore, Leh and Mahabubnagar - it added.
"Master plan of Indore has been prepared and the other corporations/state nodal agencies are in the process of engaging consultants for preparation of master plans," the ministry said.
The ministry had empanelled 26 consultants in June 2009 to prepare the master plans.
Eight cities are to be developed as "Model Solar Cities", the ministry said, adding Nagpur, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar and Mysuru have so far been selected for this.
Fifteen cities will be developed as "Pilot Solar Cities" of which 13 including Agartala, Coimbatore, Rajkot, Shimla, Faridabad, Thane, Raipur, Shirdi, Leh, Aizawl, Puducherry, Vijaywada and Amritsar have been named.
Parliament was informed last that the New and Renewable Energy Ministry has been implementing the programme under which a total of 60 cities and towns are proposed to be supported for development as "solar or green cities".
The criteria set for identification of such cities include a population between 50,000 to 50 lakh (with relaxation given to special category States including Northeast States), initiatives and regulatory measures already taken along with a high level of commitment in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.