Union Cabinet has given its nod to NDA government's flagship smart city project, but no city of Maharashtra has yet been included in the program as the Centre's guidelines are awaited for it, an official said. "Till now, no city has been included in the smart cities scheme. We have to first shortlist cities for the scheme in the first phase. They will then need to compete with other cities to get selected," the official in the state Urban Development department has said.
"However, states cannot shortlist their cities until the Centre issues guidelines pertaining to the criteria of a smart city. We are still waiting for the guidelines and expecting them to be issued soon," he said. "Decent living option to every resident and offering sustainable economic and employment opportunity to a wide section of its residents would be the main focus of smart city," he said.
"At the beginning, the Centre may put a cap of 2 - 3 smart cities per state," the official said. "The cities will have to compete on several parameters to become eligible. The parameters are likely to be vision, progress under 'Swachh Bharat Mission', payments of salaries to municipal staff on time, information and grievance Redressal mechanisms, self-financing abilities of the cities, service level and track record in implementing reforms," he added.
A total of 100 cities will be selected for the project through a ‘Smart City Challenge’ competition. The visionary program is appreciated and is expected to develop India as the best place to live in. The smart cities will have all the facilities including electronic connectivity, which will make the city with all facilities at the finger tip. The dream project of the Prime Minister has attracted many countries to become part of the project for the construction and maintenance of the city. Government has chalked out a larger picture to have atleast 2 Smart Cities in each state.