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India’s Smart Cities Mission (SCM)

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 04, Dec 2021
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The deadline for completing projects under the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) has been extended for all 100 participating cities to June 2023 due to the delays caused by COVID-19 and based on a NITI Aayog recommendation in August.

Smart Cities mission:

  • GoI launched the smart cities mission in 2015.
  • The cities were given five years to complete the projects under the mission, with the first set of Smart Cities expected to complete in 2021.
  • The objective is to integrate city functions, utilize scarce resources more efficiently, and improve the quality of life of citizens.
  • It is an innovative initiative under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

Smart city is envisaged to have four pillars:

  1. Social Infrastructure.
  2. Physical Infrastructure.
  3. Institutional Infrastructure (including Governance).
  4. Economic Infrastructure.

Progress made under this scheme (as of June 2021):

  • Of the total proposed projects under this mission, 5,924 projects have been tendered, work orders have been issued for 5,236 and 2,665 projects are fully operational.
  • 212 PPP projects worth Rs. 24,964 crore have been grounded/completed
  • 70 Smart cities have developed. operationalized their Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) in the country.

Challenges ahead:

  1. A lot of progress is desired in creating energy-efficient and green buildings.
  2. Making Urban Bodies self-reliant.
  3. The share of public transport is declining, it needs to be increased to meet the needs of increasing urbanization.
  4. Rising air pollution, increase in road congestion due to an increase in urbanization.