Smart Cities Mission needs better planning

The Smart Cities Mission is a visionary and ambitious initiative, which has the potential to transform the urban scenario of the country and to enhance the well-being and happiness of the citizens.

| Updated: 09 February, 2024 3:15 pm IST
TNI Illustration by Eknath Narale

The Smart Cities Mission (SCM) is one of the flagship initiatives of the government to transform the urban landscape of the country and to provide a better quality of life to the citizens. The mission aims to develop 100 smart cities across the country, which will have core infrastructure, a clean and sustainable environment, and smart solutions for various urban challenges. The mission was launched in 2015, with a budget of Rs 2,05,018 crore and a deadline of June 2023, which was later extended to June 2024.

However, a recent report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development has revealed that the mission is far from achieving its targets and objectives and that many projects are facing delays and cost overruns. The report has stated that out of the 7,970 projects under the mission, 400 projects worth Rs 22,814 crore will take beyond December 2024 to complete. The report has also stated that in case of non-completion of these projects within the extended time frame, the state governments concerned will have to bear the additional cost. The report has also highlighted the various reasons for the delays, such as difficulties in the resettlement of the local population, legal issues in land procurement, frequent transfers of smart cities’ CEOs, and lack of convergence with other government ministries or agencies.

The report has also made some recommendations to improve the implementation and outcome of the mission, such as bringing the next phase of the mission for Tier-2 cities in a radius of 50-100 km of capital cities and tourist hubs, protecting the right to privacy of the citizens given the installation of CCTV cameras and other smart devices, and ensuring the participation and feedback of the citizens and the civil society in the planning and monitoring of the projects.

The report serves as a timely and necessary intervention to assess the progress and performance of the mission, highlighting areas needing improvement. It’s a wake-up call for the government to address challenges promptly and ensure the mission’s success. Additionally, it reminds society to support the mission and hold it accountable for transparency and effectiveness. The Smart Cities Mission is a visionary and ambitious initiative, which has the potential to transform the urban scenario of the country and to enhance the well-being and happiness of the citizens. However, the mission also requires better planning and monitoring, which are essential for its smooth and successful execution and delivery.

Also Read Story

INTERVIEW| I am a proud atheist; Udhaynidhi & I free to follow atheism: Kanimozhi

Pilibhit Voting: Don’t Know who’s Jitin Prasad, We Know Only Modi

INTERVIEW| 2011 jail taught me who are my friends & women in politics are dispensable: Kanimozhi

Ministry of Home Affairs announces key promotions, appointments in IPS ranks