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Official reports jump in utilisation of funds in the past three months

After having chosen 100 cities in a phased manner, the Union government is now mulling expanding the Smart Cities Mission to all 4,000 cities in the country.

The Mission is touted as a move to make governance citizen-friendly and cost effective, build better infrastructure, develop open spaces and expand housing to all, among other things.

“We are piloting the project 100 cities. Now it is time to expand it to all the 4,000 cities across the country. Sooner than later, we will be able to expand the philosophy and style of working of smart cities to all the cities in the country,” said Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary & Mission Director of Smart Cities Mission, speaking on the sidelines of ‘Smart City Summit and Sm@rt Urbanization’, a convention and expo, on Wednesday.

The two-day event was organised by the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation in association with some other organisations.

Commenting on the under-utilisation of funds in various cities and States, including Karnataka, he said, “It is a learning curve. We are learning a lot as we are gaining experience. We are getting better day by day. The jump in utilisation of funds in the past three months is very high. It is like an S-curve. As far as States go, Karnataka has come up to fifth position. It has been one of the fastest movers recently.”

Mr. Kumar said that the mission has started rating the existing projects under five parameters: governance, planning, technology, services, and finance, along with climate sensitive action and ease of living sensitive action. “The ratings will be out in February or March next year,” he said.

The Smart Cities Mission is an initiative by the Union government that was launched four years ago. Seven cities in Karnataka had been selected for the Mission. They are Bengaluru, Belagavi, Davangere, Hubballi-Dharwad, Shivamogga, Mangaluru, and Tumakuru.

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Quelle/Source: The Hindu, 25.09.2019

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