NEW DELHI, Aug 27: The government today announced the mes of 98 towns and cities, which include Guwahati, chosen for its Smart Cities project after a tionwide "competition" between states.
The winners include Lucknow and Prime Minister rendra Modi's constituency Varasi in Uttar Pradesh, Ahmedabad, Gandhigar and Baroda in Gujarat, Greater Mumbai, Cheni, Coimbatore and Madurai in Tamil du, and Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
North-eastern towns and cities like Guwahati, Kohima, Imphal, Aizawl, Shillong, and Agartala have also been chosen.
Of those chosen for the project, 24 are capital cities, 24 are business hubs and 18 are cultural centres. Cities like Pat, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Thiruvanthapuram and Shimla have failed to make the cut in round one.
Uttar Pradesh gets the maximum number of cities with Kanpur, Allahabad, Rampur, Agra and Aligarh also being selected. vi Mumbai, Pune, gpur and Thane also make the cut from Maharashtra.
Each state will get at least one Smart City, which, in PM Modi's words, translates to "very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city".
To earn a Smart City tag, the city has to check all the boxes that include service levels, existing infrastructure and track record. Proposals from states were also judged on how realistic is its execution.
The top 20 cities will be finced this year.
The rest of the cities will be asked to get their act together, focus on deficiencies and prepare for Round 2 of the competition.
During the selection process, each state was assigned a specific number of Smart City slots based on urban population among other factors.
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous and politically vital state, will get the most number of Smart Cities - 13. The state government has also recommended Congress president Sonia Gandhi's constituency Rae Bareli.
Tamil du will have 12 and Maharashtra will get 10 such cities. Madhya Pradesh will have seven Smart Cities and Gujarat and Kartaka will have six each.
Sources say Jammu and Kashmir wanted time to decide between Jammu and Srigar as its nominee for the project.
In the next five years, Rs. 3 lakh crore will be spent in developing the towns to provide world class infrastructure, sustaible environment and smart solutions.
The Smart City mission is viewed as the government's big push for urban renewal in almost 100 Indian cities and towns. While launching it in June this year, PM Modi had said, "Urban planning should begin at the bottom."