New Delhi: Commissioners of two metropolitan corporations of Odisha – Bhubaneswar and Brahmapur – are attending the two-day conclave of the Union Urban Development Ministry in New Delhi to take states and other stakeholders on board on the ambitious initiative to build smart cities that will delve into issues like innovative policy and financing tools needed for the programme.
The Odisha government has proposed to the Centre inclusion of five cities – Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Brahmapur, Rourkela and Sambalpur and Puri, which has been recognized as a heritage city by the Central government, Housing & Urban Development minister Puspendra Singh Deo had said on January 19.
The two-day ‘Consultation Workshop with state governments and stakeholders on smart Cities’ is discussing 10 critical issues with the states for a clear understanding on them, challenges and the road ahead, sources said.
Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh are attending the inaugural session of the workshop today.
“A final shape to the smart cities concept would be given at the meeting. Each state will have three smart cities, excluding the state capital,” Naidu had said at a conference on Tamil Nadu Smart Cities organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Chennai on Thursday.
The central government has plans to develop 100 smart cities in the country.
The issues to be discussed include competition based selection of cities for inclusion under smart cities programme; support and hand-holding the cities; need to participate in the Smart City challenge; policy issues in respect of area based strategy for development through retrofitting, redevelopment and green field smart city development.
During the two-day session, the stakeholders will discuss the crucial issue of integrating Smart City Mission with the National Urban Development Mission for 500 cities and sanitation and action taken under Swachh Bharat Mission.
The workshop will deliberate ways and means to find out innovative financial tools for funding smart city development and making urban local bodies self-reliant.
Credit rating of cities and kick-starting issue of municipal bonds, promoting citizen participation in identifying project priorities, decision making and implementation and leveraging primary economic activity of each city to augment employment generation will also be taken up at the consultation.
The two-day meeting will also review the progress achieved under JNNURM with regard to implementation of reforms.