In the fourth part of the ‘Know Your Smart Cities’ web series on the 98 cities that have been shortlisted to be equipped with modern facilities and innovative solutions over time, we look at the 12 cities in Uttar Pradesh.
Under the Centre’s ‘smart city’ plan, Uttar Pradesh is entitled to have 13 of its cities developed as smart cities. However, only 12 names have been finalised so far. For the 13th city, there is a tie between Raebareli and Meerut and the final name is yet to be announced.
The details given below are for the 12 districts, and not the individual cities that are to be transformed into smart cities.
Among the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad is an administrative and educational hub. It houses a high court; the offices of the auditor general of Uttar Pradesh, principal controller of defence accounts (pension) and the Uttar Pradesh Madhymik Shiksha Prishad; besides the UP Police headquarters. It is also home to educational institutions like Moti Lal Nehru Regional Engineering College, Medical and Agriculture College, Indian Institute of Information Technology and IIFCO Phulpur.
Well connected to all other major towns and cities of the state by road and railway networks, Jhansi is also planned to have a Greenfield airport. The National Highways Development Project has supported the development of the city — the Kashmir-Kanyakumari highway runs through Jhansi, as does the East-West corridor. There has been a sudden rush to infrastructure and real estate development in the city.
Located along Ramganga, Bareilly lies in the Rohilkhand geographical region. The city is 252 km north of Lucknow and 250 km east of New Delhi. It is the fourth city in UP to have compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations (apart from Lucknow, Kanpur and Agra). It is the seventh-largest city in UP and the 50 th-largest in the country. It is known to be a major market for apparel.
With its rich historical background, Agra is a hotspot for foreign and domestic tourists. Though tourism contributes the bulk to its economy, the city has a substantial industrial base as well. A lot of manufacturing plants and industry-related wholesale markets are present in Agra. It is also famous for intricate marble carving and artefacts, which are popular with domestic and foreign backpackers.
A major industrial city and export hub, Moradabad is home to a major handicraft market. The city’s handicraft industry accounts for more than 40 per cent of India’s total handicraft exports. It is particularly famous for brassware, brass utensils and kitchenware.
Apart from the ‘smart city’ scheme, Saharanpur has been selected for urbanisation and development under the AMRUT scheme, another programme to be funded by the central government. Saharanpur Nagar Nigam ranked third in the Uttar Pradesh government’s smart city competition. The city is a flourishing business hub and an important regional centre for wholesale and retail trades, particularly of grain, timber, textiles, and food & beverages.
Situated in the western part of Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh is an important education and commercial hub of India. It is primarily famous for its lock industry and the Aligarh Muslim University.
The largest city in Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur is the administrative headquarters of Kanpur Nagar district and Kanpur division. It is known for leather goods, spices, hosiery, etc. The city is the commercial capital of UP and a big market for automobiles, FMCG and apparel. It also houses the Green Park cricket stadium, a venue for international cricket matches.
The capital city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow is a major metropolitan and a booming Tier-II centre. It is perhaps India’s first ‘CCTV City’, with 9,000 installed cameras that are monitored by the Lucknow Police. It continues to be an important centre for government, education, commerce, aerospace, finance, pharma, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry.
Close to other important towns like Bareilly, Moradabad and Badaun, Rampur is situated on the National Highway 24. It is 302 km away from Lucknow and 185 km from New Delhi. The city, well connected by railway and road networks, is known for its Raza Library and now the sprawling Maulana Mohd Ali Jauhar University.
Considered one of the oldest living cities in the world, Varanasi is about 320 km from Lucknow. It has for centuries been an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. Varanasi is also an important industrial town of the state and is known the world over for its intricate silk embroidery. Besides, it is represented in Parliament by Narendra Modi, now the prime minister of the country.
Considered one of the most important cities of Uttar Pradesh, Ghaziabad lies in the National Capital Region (NCR). In 1967, its municipal limits were extended up to the Delhi-UP border. Starting early 1970s, a large number of steel manufacturing units also came up in the city, making it one of the primary industries of Ghaziabad. This period also saw the emergence of the electronics industry, with the setting up of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. Over the years, the city’s planned industrial development has seen participation from major corporate houses of the country.