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Only 20 smart cities may be shortlisted this year

The proposed 100 smart cities are likely to be selected in three phases

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a high-level meeting with government officials on the Smart City initiative, in New Delhi

The proposed 100 smart cities are likely to be selected in three phases — 20 this year and 40 each in subsequent years, according to Karuna Gopal, president of (FFC).

The Foundation is developing a protocol for Indian cities in collaboration with government and corporate entities. Gopal was speaking here on Monday at a round-table, reiterating a pact between India and the Netherlands government.

A business delegation from Netherlands, led by Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan, is in India for a week to discuss investment opportunities, as well as the project.

The Amsterdam mayor said, “We would want to help Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project.’’

Even as the government is still tweaking the public-private partnership (PPP) funding model for smart cities and working on the concession agreements, international interest in the venture has been phenomenal. Foreign delegations are routinely showing their keenness to be a part of the project, said Gopal.

The visiting officials from the Netherlands pointed that an MoU was signed between the Dutch ministry of infrastructure and environment and India’s urban development ministry in 2013, and the two sides would now like to build on the same for the smart city project. The US, Japan, China, Germany, Spain, France and Singapore are among the countries interested in collaborating with India on the project.

The 100 smart cities are likely to be a combination of greenfield development, redevelopment and retrofit projects. Also, the smart cities may be linked to other key projects of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government such as Digital India and Swachh Bharat, officials said.

For smart cities, the core areas will include municipal reforms, e-governance, zero emission, connectivity and mobility.

Last July, in its first Budget, the NDA government announced that 100 smart cities would be developed, and allocated over Rs 7,000 crore for the project, which is still in the planning stage.

First Published: Tue, March 24 2015. 00:48 IST