Shillong Bags Smart City Tag, Number Reaches 100
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has selected Shillong as the 100th city to receive funding under the Centre's flagship Smart Cities Mission after evaluation of the proposal submitted by it. Earlier, nine names were added in the smart cities list in January. These cities were Biharsharif (Bihar), Diu (Daman & Diu), Erode (Tamil Nadu), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Kavaratti (Lakshwadeep) and Bareilly, Moradabad & Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh). The list now has a total 99 cities to be developed as smart ones.
Last year, the government on June 23 announced the names of 30 cities under the mission. At that time, 45 cities had contested for the remaining 40 slots.
Smart City awards
Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri has awarded Surat for showcasing "great momentum" in the implementation of projects under the Smart Cities Mission. Under India Smart Cities Award' 2018, Bhopal and Ahmedabad were selected in the 'Innovative Idea' category for their "transformative approach towards sustainable integrated development, while nine smart cities, including NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council), bagged 'Project' awards for innovative and successful projects in seven categories. Also, Bhopal and Jaipur got the awards under 'Culture and Economy' category, Ahmedabad and Surat under 'Transport and Mobility' category, Ahmedabad under 'Water and Sanitation' category and Pune under 'Governance' and Built Environment' categories
In developing stage
It is worth mentioning here that while ambitious government schemes aimed at redefining the country's infrastructure won Prime Minister Narendra Modi much accolade, his government's actual performance would be rated on how fast and effectively these plans were implemented. What makes the task difficult to achieve is the fact that many swift alterations will have to be made at policy and other levels to implement plans such as Housing for All, the Smart City Mission and the Swachh Bharat Mission.
As the government has selected the cities that are to be developed as smart cities, a key part of the job is done. From hereon, plans made on paper would begin to take shape, and it would be all about implementation.
It is worth mentioning here that PM Modi made an announcement about his government's plans to develop 100 smart cities in 2015, and launched the project a year after. As the country's real estate sector struggles to come out of a slowdown that has been looming over it for the past couple of years, his government is hurrying up to turn plans into reality to revive the sector.