All states except Tamil Nadu and Telangana have kept the deadline of December 15 for submitting their Smart City proposals, estimated at around Rs 2.5 lakh crore, to the Centre. However, the exact investment proposed is yet to be calculated.
While Tamil Nadu (12 cities) had to delay the submission because of the flood in the state, Telengana wants to change Hyderabad with another city for the list. In all, the urban development ministry got proposals for 85 cities, out of 98, which were shortlisted earlier through a competition. In the current financial year, the Centre is slated to partially fund 20 cities for the project, while the remaining financing is expected to come from states, local urban bodies and private entities. The Centre will allocate Rs 500 crore for each city in phases.
Even as many municipal bodies in Maharashtra were opposed to the project fearing undermining of their authority in decision-making, the state has submitted proposals for all scheduled 10 cities, including Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune, where resistance was maximum. Sources in municipal bodies told Business Standard after submitting the list on Tuesday that their "fears had been allayed'' by the Centre, which has assured greater powers and say to the mayors and to the corporation.
But, Arindam Guha, senior director at Deloitte and specialist on smart cities, said proper documentation in the smart city proposal will determine who gets the funding from the Centre. "Only at the evaluation stage will we know whether documentation is in place or not," Guha said. The critical documentation would include board resolutions approving the plan. The fine-print of the proposals will decide who makes it and who doesnt, experts said.
Municipal bodies have been against the creation of the SPV (special purpose vehicle) for executing the project. The SPV is a joint venture between the urban local body and the state government.
Pratap Padode, founder of Smart Cities Council India (SCCI), said the selectors would not compromise on the required inputs just to reach the targeted number of 20 cities in the first phase. The announcement of the first list of 20 cities is likely to be made around the Republic Day.
An estimated 30 foreign companies, including consultancies from 20 countries have been associated with preparation of proposals of 45 mission cities. Cities with which foreign companies were associated in preparation of Smart City proposals include New Delhi Municipal Council, Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bhagalpur, Bhabaneshwar, Bhopal, Greater Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Pune, New Town Kolkata, Kota, Ranchi, Rourkela, Ujjain, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Tumakuru (Karnataka).
Cities that were short-listed for the project include Vishakhapatnam, Port Blair, Guwahati, Chandigarh, NDMC area of Delhi, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Surat, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Faridabad, Ranchi, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra among the total of 98. Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir are yet to name a city each.