India Smart Cities Awards 2020

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    Recently, the Union Government has released the results of the India Smart Cities Awards Contest (ISAC) 2020.

    • The awards commemorate 6 years of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ (MoHUA) three initiatives to spur urban development: Smart Cities Mission (SCM), Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).

     

    Major Highlights

    • The contest provides an opportunity for smart cities to showcase their most innovative, impactful projects and for others to recognise and learn from their best practices.
    • These rankings were arrived at by the government on the basis of several parameters such as social aspects, governance, culture, urban environment, sanitation, economy, built environment, water, urban mobility, etc.
      • For the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, additional parameters of sustainable business model of Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) and Innovation in Covid-19 Management were also counted for the awards.
        • The Ministry underscored the importance of cities across India using ICCCs as war rooms for Covid-19 management.
        • So far, 69 cities in India have operationalised these ICCCs under the SCM and these are being developed across all 100 smart cities.
        • Agartala, Indore and Vadodara were ranked best for the sustainable business model of ICCCs.
    • Categories for the Best State and Covid-19 management did not exist in the previous rankings.
    • Among cities, Indore and Surat were adjudged joint winners and Chandigarh was ranked first among Union Territories (UTs).
      • Surat has been adjudged the best city for the second consecutive year.
    • In States, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has been ranked one, Madhya Pradesh second and Tamil Nadu has been ranked third.
      • UP won the award for shortlisting seven more cities apart from the existing 10 to transform them into smart cities namely, Ayodhya, Mathura, Meerut, Shahjahanpur, Firozabad, Gorakhpur and Ghaziabad.
      • UP showed good physical and financial progress in some cities such as Agra, Varanasi, Lucknow and Prayagraj and was also able to complete the transfer of state supporting funds to cities.
      • Lucknow and Ghaziabad issued municipal bonds in 2020, becoming the first cities in North India to do so in a year affected by Covid.
    • 22 per cent in terms of the total value of the projects proposed and 52 per cent in terms of the total number of projects proposed by the 100 Smart Cities had been completed so far.
      • 5,924 projects worth Rs. 1,78,500 crore have been tendered so far and 2,665 projects worth Rs. 45,080 crore have been fully completed.
    • The average monthly expenditure in SCM has almost doubled in 2020, despite the challenges faced due to Covid-19.

     

    Smart Cities Mission

    • It is an innovative initiative under the MoHUA.
    • Objectives
      • To promote cities that provide core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and give a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions’.
      • To drive economic growth and improve quality of life through comprehensive work on social, economic, physical and institutional pillars of the city.
    • Focus: Sustainable and inclusive development by creation of replicable models which act as lighthouses to other aspiring cities.
    • 100 cities were selected to be developed as Smart Cities through a two-stage competition for the duration of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20).
    • Plan of Action
      • Pan-city initiative in which at least one Smart Solution is applied city-wide.
      • Develop areas step-by-step with the help of the three models namely, retrofitting, redevelopment and greenfield.
    • Funding: Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
      • The Central Government gives financial support to the extent of Rs. 48,000 crores over 5 years i.e. on an average Rs. 100 crore per city per year. 
      • Additional resources are to be raised through convergence, from Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) own funds, grants under Finance Commission, innovative finance mechanisms such as Municipal Bonds, other government programmes and borrowings.
    • Emphasis has been given on the participation of the private sector through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and citizens’ aspirations were captured in the Smart City Proposals (SCPs) prepared by the selected cities.
    • There is no standard definition or template of a smart city. In the context India, the six fundamental principles on which the concept of Smart Cities is based are:

     

    (Image Source: SC)

     

    Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation

    • It was launched in June 2015 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
    • Aims
      • To ensure that every household has access to a tap with the assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.
      • To increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces like parks.
      • To reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport.
    • Indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry in the form of Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs).
    • State Annual Action Plan
      • Earlier, the Ministry used to give project-by-project sanctions.
      • In AMRUT, this has been replaced by approval of the State Annual Action Plan once a year and the States have to give project sanctions and approval at their end.
        • In this way, the AMRUT makes States equal partners in planning and implementation of projects, thus actualizing the spirit of cooperative federalism.
    • Mission Components
      • The components of the AMRUT consist of capacity building, reform implementation, water supply, sewerage and septage management, storm water drainage, urban transport and development of green spaces and parks.
        • Reforms will lead to improvement in service delivery, mobilization of resources and making municipal functioning more transparent and functionaries more accountable, while Capacity Building will empower municipal functionaries and lead to timely completion of projects.
      • During the process of planning, the ULBs will strive to include some smart features in the physical infrastructure components.
    • Coverage
      • Five hundred cities have been selected under AMRUT. The category of cities that have been selected under AMRUT is given below:
        • All cities and towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities as per Census 2011, including Cantonment Boards (Civilian areas).
        • All capital cities/towns of States/ UTs, not covered in above.
        • All  cities/towns  classified as Heritage Cities by MoHUA under the HRIDAY Scheme.
        • Thirteen cities and towns on the stem of the main rivers with a population above 75,000 and less than 1 lakh.
        • Ten cities from hill states, islands and tourist destinations (not more than one from each State).
    • Funding: Central Sponsored Scheme
      • It has a total outlay of Rs. 50,000 crores for five years (2015-16 to 2019-20).
      • In 2019, the Ministry extended it till March 2022.
    • An Apex Committee (AC), chaired by the Secretary, MoHUA and comprising representatives of related Ministries and organisations will supervise the Mission
      • It may co-opt any representative from any Government Department or organisation as Member or invite any expert to participate in its deliberations.
      • It will meet according to requirements but at least once in three months.

     

    Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban

     

    (Image Courtesy: PMAYU)

     

    • It is a flagship mission launched in June 2015 and is being implemented by MoHUA.
    • It provides Central Assistance to the implementing agencies for providing houses to all eligible families/beneficiaries against the validated demand for houses for about 1.12 crore.
    • It addresses urban housing shortage among the Economic Weaker Sections (EWS) of Low Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG) categories including the slum dwellers by ensuring a pucca house to all eligible urban households by the year 2022.
      • 2022 was chosen as a deadline to mark the completion of 75 years of India’s independence.
    • Approach: It adopts a demand driven approach wherein the housing shortage is decided based on demand assessment by States/UTs.
    • Stakeholders: State Level Nodal Agencies (SLNAs), ULBs, Implementing Agencies (IAs), Central Nodal Agencies (CNAs) and Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs).
    • As per guidelines, the size of a house for EWS could be upto 30 sq. mt. carpet area, however States/UTs have the flexibility to enhance the size of houses in consultation and approval of the Ministry.
    • Coverage
      • It covers the entire urban area consisting of Statutory Towns, Notified Planning Areas, Development Authorities, Special Area Development Authorities, Industrial Development Authorities or any such authority under State legislation which is entrusted with the functions of urban planning & regulations.
    • All houses have basic amenities like toilets, water supply, electricity and kitchen.
    • The Mission promotes women empowerment by providing the ownership of houses in the name of female members or in joint name.
      • Preference is also given to differently abled persons, senior citizens, SCs, STs, OBCs, Minority, single women, transgender and other weaker and vulnerable sections of the society.
    • Criteria: It adopts a cafeteria approach to suit the needs of individuals based on the geographical conditions, topography, economic conditions, availability of land, infrastructure, etc.
    • The scheme has hence been divided into four verticals:

    (Image Courtesy: PMAYU)

     

    Source: TH