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Visakhapatnam, Tirupati among 85 cities shortlisted for Smart City proposals


85 cities out of the 98 included in the Smart City Mission have submitted city level Smart City proposals to the Union Urban Development Ministry within the stipulated time. While 17 proposals were submitted on Monday, 68 proposals were received in the Ministry today, the last day for submission.

Tamil Nadu government, pre-occupied with flood management in Chennai and other parts of the state could not submit the proposals while Telangana sought to replace Hyderabad in the Smart City Mission by another city, to be communicated later. The next step is to select 20 cities through evaluation in the second round of 'City Challenge' competition to pick up first batch of cities by third week of January for financing the Smart City project, said a senior UD Ministry official.

Continuous monitoring and hand holding by the senior officials of the Ministry helped the states and urban local bodies meet the deadline for submission of smart city proposals. Urban Development Secretary Madhusudhan Prasad was in regular contact with Chief Secretaries of almost all the states monitoring progress and advising in preparation of proposals.

Ministry organized three Smart City Consultation Workshops, one Smart City Ideas Camp, five rounds of Webinars (online consultations with Mission Director seeking. clarifications) and one Proposal Enhancement Workshop to enable states and urban local bodies formulate proposals as per Mission Guidelines. UD Ministry also provided 8 Region-wise panels of consultants so that states and urban local bodies could chose consultants for preparation of smart city proposals through tendering, thereby saving on time.

30 foreign companies from 20 leading countries have been associated with preparation of smart city proposals of 45 mission cities. These include KPMG, KcKinsey, CISCO Systems, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Deloite Touche Tohmastsu, Jones Lang La Salle, Dorsh Holding GmbH, Knight Frank, Tractabel Engineering SA, Haskoning DHV Consulting Pvt Ltd, Grant Thornton, Happold Engineers, Ecorys Netherlands BV.

Cities with which foreign companies were associated in preparation of smart city proposals include New Delhi Municipal Council, Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bhagalpur, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Greater Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Pune, New Town Kolkata, Kota, Ranchi, Rourkela, Ujjain, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Tumakuru (Karnataka).

Total population of 98 mission cities is 13 crore accounting for 35 per cent of country's urban population. Eight of these have population of below one lakh each, three towns have population between one and two lakhs, 30 cities between two to five lakhs, 22 between 5 and 10 lakhs, 25 in the range of 10 to 25 lakhs, 5 between 25 and 50 lakhs and 5 cities have population above 50 lakhs.

Capital cities not included in Smart City Mission are Bengaluru, Gangtok, Itanagar, Kolkata, Patna, Shimla and Trivandrum.

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