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The government has extended the deadline for its flagship Smart City Mission by one more year, till June 2024. Officials said several states have sought the extension of time to complete all the ongoing projects under this mission.

The mission was launched on June 25, 2015 and 100 cities were selected for redevelopment through a two-stage competition from January 2016 to June 2018. Officials said on-ground project execution began at least 18 months post city selection as the process of setting up of specialised entities or special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and appointment of CEOs and other manpower took time.

They added that June 2023 was set as the mission deadline so that all selected cities got five years for completing the projects, though some of the cities, which were selected in the first round, started projects before 2018. According to housing and urban affairs ministry data, so far the Centre has released around Rs 38,000 crore to 100 cities and the state governments and municipal bodies have released nearly Rs 33,000 crore. Officials said that around 90% of these funds have been utilised and the allocation of Rs 8,000 crore in the current financial year is sufficient to meet the needs of ongoing projects.

Government data also show that till now projects worth Rs 1.07 lakh crore have been completed across these cities. Under this mission, diverse and complex projects in all areas of urban governance such as mobility, environment, public safety, disaster resilience, health, education, housing, water, sanitation and waste management have been undertaken.

Officials claimed that the execution of such projects take more time since these are inter-disciplinary and involve coordination between various government departments.

“Despite that being the case, around 5,700 projects (72%) worth Rs 1.07 lakh crore (60%) have been completed by April 30. Around 50 cities have completed close to 75% of their projects and are on track to complete remaining works by June 2023. More than 66% projects in small cities and over 80% projects in the large metros have been completed,” an official said.

Ministry daya show that 232 projects on Public Private Partnership (PPP) worth Rs 15,006 crore have been taken up across 53 cities.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Dipak K Dash

Quelle/Source: msn, 01.05.2023

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