Tier-II Cities Top The Charts In Smart City Rankings
Even though only five per cent of the smart city projects are completed and nine per cent of the total funds utilised, the Ministry of Urban Development has come out with fresh smart city rankings. The list places Nagpur on the top, followed by Vadodara and Ahmedabad. These rankings were based on various parameters, including expenditure, project implementation and performance of civic bodies in the past four years. Out of 99 smart cities, 12 were not evaluated since the third list was released very recently.
Tier-II cities at the top
Surprisingly, the Tier-II cities have performed much better than the metro cities. While Nagpur scored 259.96, Vadodara scored 195.31, Ahmedabad and Pune at fourth position got 190.59, metro cities such as Chennai scored a meagre 31.46 points and stood at the 37thposition. Coimbatore has ranked fairly well in the current ratings, jumping from 20th to 14th position and is the only city from Tamil Nadu to feature in the top 15. Varanasi in UP stood at the 11th position while Agra and Kanpur stood at 24th and 27th position. State capital Lucknow fared worse at 43rd position while Allahabad was ranked 40th, Bareilly 50th, Moradabad 61st, Aligarh 77th and Jhansi 81st. Interestingly, Trichi has been ranked at 79th position as around 18 projects – at an estimated cost of Rs 1,200 crore are still underway in the Trichy smart city mission.
Though infrastructure development is still underway in all the selected cities, several projects that have the highest impact have been fast-tracked. The Centre will also release Rs 500 crore fund to the top 15 cities for the implementation and execution of projects. In Chennai, the Greater Chennai Corporation which is implementing a major chunk of Smart City Mission projects has completed just two projects in the last few years - Namma Chennai App and 28 smart classes. Several other projects such as a pedestrian plaza at T Nagar, multi-level parking systems, rejuvenation of water bodies in the metropolitan area are underway and has been expedited.