The government is set to roll out the second edition of Smart City mission. The ministry of housing and urban affairs is expected to formally launch Smart City II mission in 2020.
“We will also infuse lots of private participation to infuse capital in the planned and upcoming cities. Also, cities that will improve the fiscal strength will get major portion of the central government grant,” ET Realty quoted Kunal Kumar, joint secretary & mission director of Smart Cities Mission, as saying. “The government is also looking at increasing public private participation in the smart cities through incentives mechanism.”
Smart City I involved development of 100 cities in a phased manner. The Union government is expected to expand the Smart Cities Mission to all 4,000 cities in the country. The mission will cover housing for all, build better infrastructure, and development of open spaces among other things.
The minister further added that the government will take up learnings from the upcoming smart cities and spread it across the country. To expediate the process and learn better, the mission has started rating the existing projects under five parameters — planning, technology, governance, services and finance, along with climate sensitive action and ease of living sensitive action.
However, center’s Smart City plan seemingly is far from its initial target. The mission is hamstrung by multiple challenges such as long term funding, lack of private participation and capacity building, and is far from achieving its target.
So far, about 10% of the planned projects have been completed in the past three years. The deadline for completion of the projects was set between 2019 and 2023.
The ministry of housing and urban affairs is also looking at alternative funding mechanisms such as pool finance, fund of fund approach, bonds, fiscal money, monetization of unused land and tapping foreign capital.
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