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States to call the shots in Smart City, AMRUT: Centre

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Some basic info to understand the news better:

  • It is projected that urban India will contribute nearly 75% of the national GDP in the next 15 years. Cities are accordingly referred to as the engines of economic growth. There is accordingly a crying need for the cities to get smarter .The smart cities should be able to provide good infrastructure such as water, sanitation, reliable utility services, health care; attract investments; transparent processes that make it easy to run a commercial activities; simple and on line processes for obtaining approvals, and various citizen centric services to make citizens feel safe and happy.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) IS mission aimed at transforming 500 cities and towns into efficient urban living spaces, with special focus on a healthy and green environment for children.

Now, the news:

  • Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu said, “Under Smart Cities and AMRUT, more power will be given to states to prioritise what they need and this will be done taking MPs from the states in to confidence.”
  • Ministry sources said that disbursal of funds would be linked to a set of 11 reforms undertaken by the states, as against 23 reforms that were outlined in the UPA’s flagship scheme.
  • These reforms would be related to governance, citizens’ services, wider digitisation and the government’s Swachh Bharat initiative along with few of the existing reforms mandated in JNNURM.
  • Unlike JNNURM, which was project-based, the new missions will be programme-based. The states are only expected to forward their proposals and rough cost estimates. Everything from there on, from preparing and sanctioning Detailed Project Report, estimates, the kind of technology to be used and tender conditions, will be done with the states in the driving seate.

Know more on this news topic:

  • Both projects- smart cities and AMRUT are interlinked.How they are different in the sense that (AMRUT) has a wider reach in terms of the number of cities covered and therefore the funds available for each city would be proportionately less.
  • Cities will have to compete with each other to be among the 100 selected under the Smart Cities Mission.AMRUT — covering 500 cities — will essentially be a revised version of the JNNURM. The two together will have an outlay of Rs 1 lakh crore over the next five years.