Government’s pet project, Smart Cities Mission finds a special mention in the budget 2018-19. “Smart Cities Mission aims at building 100 Smart Cities with state-of-the-art amenities. I am happy to inform that 99 Cities have been selected with an outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore. These Cities have started implementing various projects like Smart Command and Control Centre, Smart Roads, Solar Rooftops, Intelligent Transport Systems, Smart Parks,” the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech.
The Finance Minister has also hiked the budget allocation for this project to Rs 6,169 crore in this budget as against Rs 4,000 crore allocation in the previous budget which is 54.22% increase. It should be noted that the Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry’s total budgetary provisions have been pegged at over Rs 41,765 crore for the next fiscal which is just a hike of 2.82 per cent over 2017-18.
There is no doubt that the Smart City Mission has come out of its initial inertia and is making good progress. Till now 82 SPVs have been formed. There are about 3000 projects worth Rs.1,40,000 crores at various stages of implementation. Tenders for projects worth Rs 16,000 crore have been called, and more than Rupees 1 lakh crore worth of projects are being readied for issuance of tenders. This remains one of the fastest ever project implementations at this scale and geographic spread in urban sector.