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As per the Census 2011, the cities of India can accommodate nearly 31% of the Indian population and contribute to 63% of GDP. Hence a comprehensive development of physical, economic, institutional, and social infrastructure is inevitable. Such comprehensive growth will attract investors to the country and simultaneously improve the quality of life.
The Government of India introduced the Smart Cities Mission initiative to drive economic progress and boost the quality of life by fuelling local development and harnessing technology to create smart results for the citizens. Smart Cities Mission was launched on 25th June 2015, with the objective to create spaces that have the basic infrastructure, are sustainable, and provide smart solutions to the citizens for a better quality of life.
The strategy of Smart Cities is to focus on pressing needs and on the potential to improve the quality of life. Different approaches are tested, including digital and information technologies, best practices for urban planning, public-private partnerships, and policy change to make a difference.
The focus of Smart Cities is always people, and hence the objective is to promote the cities that can provide:
The idea of the Smart Cities Mission is to create cities with inclusive development of compact areas that can serve as role models for the creation of similar spaces. The mission of Smart Cities is to create a space that triggers a change that can be inculcated in various spaces across the country.
The basic infrastructure elements of a Smart City are:
The mission has a coverage of 100 cities and the duration of the project for five years, i.e.FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20. The total number of Smart Cities has been allocated among the States and UT’s on the basis of the eligibility criteria.
The formula for allocation of the smart cities gives equal weightage to the urban population in State and UT and the number of Statutory towns in the State and UT. The allocation will be reviewed after two years of the implementation of the Mission.
The financing of the Smart Cities will be operated as Centrally Sponsored Schemes. An equal amount on a matching basis will be contributed by the State/UTs.