Smart Cities: The Selection Criteria That Sealed The Deal For Towns
In the first phase, the Centre released the first list 20 cities which were to be converted into Smart Cities. This was followed by the list of another 13 cities, thus, taking the count to 33 cities. The names of the remaining 77 cities will be unveiled at a later stage, on the basis of how the competing cities present their proposals.
An urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India, Smart City Mission aims to convert 100 cities into citizen-friendly and sustainable units.
Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar, which got the highest score in the smart city challenge, was judged by three different panels of experts on the basis of cost-effectiveness, feasibility of proposal, result orientation, citizen participation, strategic plan, vision and goals. Let's takes a look at the broad criteria based on which the cities were shortlisted. The cities were selected through a two-stage process. The first stage of the selection process measured the cities on the following parametres:
- Self-financing ability of the urban body (30 points): This refers to the salaries paid to the urban local bodies up to the last month. Contributions done in the revenue of the current financial year and the percentage of maintenance and establishment cost of water supply met through user charges in the financial year 2014-15.
- Past track record (30 points): The percentage of the city modernization on the basis of projects completed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Also the level of the city reform achieved and the extent of capital expenditure met through internal resources.
- Existing service levels (25 points): This includes increase in service levels after 2011 Census. Publication of the municipal budget expenditure details for the last two financial years on website.
- Institutional Systems and capacities (15 points): This covers imposition of penalties for delays in service delivery and improvement in internal resource generation over the last three years.
Finally, the top scorers had to go through the second-level of the Smart City Challenge. The cities were marked on two broad categories, i.e., the city-level evaluation (30 points) and the proposal-level evaluation (70 points).
- Credibility of implementation
- City vision and strategy
- To what extent the proposal is inclusive of the poor and under-privileged sections.
- Cost-effectiveness of the proposal, i.e. achieving more while spending less
- How realistic is the proposal, whether the innovation suggested can be implemented in the large scale?
- The use of social media and other means to include the suggestions of the elderly, children and differently-abled citizens. Accommodating all the voices in strategy and planning.