NEW DELHI: The much awaited Smart Cities project is likely to be rolled out next month as the extensive consultation process with all stakeholders has concluded.
"We are close to launching the much awaited Smart Cities initiative on ground. Prolonged and extensive consultations on this new concept and initiative have finally concluded. We will have all the necessary approvals for this project by the end of this month and action on ground will begin next month onwards," Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said addressing a seminar on Smart Cities here today.
Describing the project as the "biggest buzz word and the flavour of the season" in the country now, he said, "We are collectively gearing up to meet the challenges of growing urbanisation with the goal of converting it into an opportunity."
NDA government had last year declared the mission of creating 100 Smart Cities across the nation based on better technology, superior management and modern governance.
However, Naidu said the selection of the Smart City will be strictly on the basis of the criteria laid out by the government and no other consideration, including political ones, will be taken into account.
On how a smart city is different from a city in which smart things happen, the Minister said a three-fold approach was taken.
Explaining them, he said, "Retrofitting and redevelopment of unsustainable urban areas that we have inherited and identified for development as smart cities, and development of new smart cities."
"We want smart cities to be developed to take advantage of and further evolve around their core economic activity, using it as an economic engine, like port cities, tourism cities, healthcare and educational cities," he said.