Under its plan to develop 100 cities across India as ‘smart cities’, the government has shortlisted 98 cities so far. These are to be equipped with modern facilities and innovative solutions over time. In the web series, ‘Know Your Smart Cities’, Business Standard looks at some facts and key demographic data from these urban centres. In the first part, read about the 10 cities in Maharashtra that have been chosen to be ‘transformed’.
Better known as the education capital of Maharashtra, Pune is now a sprawling city. It was once the base of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire. The city is also known for its grand Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892. Today, this place stands as a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, whose ashes are preserved in its gardens.
The city of Mumbai (earlier Bombay) is known to have existed since 150 AD. The string of islands that comprise Mumbai were earlier ruled by the native kolis and agris. Later, these islands were known as ‘Bombay’ under the British occupation. An important centre during the freedom movement, the city later emerged as independent India’s financial and commercial capital. In 1995, the city, known for its cosmopolitan culture, was renamed Mumbai. After the collapse of the textile industry, Mumbai is now a hub for the services sector.
The administrative headquarters of the Nashik revenue division, this city is of religious importance to the Hindus. Nashik is said to have been the home of Lord Rama, in the Ramayana, during his 14 years of exile. The city figures prominently on the world map for its Kumbh Mela. Also, Nashik has come up as a rapidly growing city for its real estate development.
Navi Mumbai, a planned township of Mumbai, was developed in 1971 as a new urban township with the active involvement of state-run City and Industrial Development Corporation.
Also referred to as the second capital and the third-largest city of Maharashtra (after Mumbai and Pune), Nagpur is known for its oranges. Founded by the Gonds, Nagpur later became part of the Maratha Empire under the royal Bhonsle dynasty. It is now emerging as a hub for defence, civil aviation and IT sectors.
Formerly a hub for textile and handloom industries in Maharashtra, Solapur was originally called Sonnalagi. However, the city got its present name under the rule of the British, who, it is said, found it difficult to pronounce the original name.
Part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and known as a lake city, Thane is situated on the western banks of the Thane creek, with Parsik hills on the east and Yeour hills on the west. The creek not only provides a natural protection to the place but has also facilitated transport of ships since ancient times. This has also acted as an impetus for the development of local and international trade. The city is of historical importance, and archaeological collectives have contributed to Thane’s history.
Known as the tourism capital of Maharashtra, Aurangabad is surrounded by many historical monuments, including Ajanta & Ellora Caves and Bibi Ka Maqbara. The city, named after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, is emerging as a leading location for IT and manufacturing.