The temple town of Tirupati has been selected in the third round of the Union Government’s Smart City Challenge. The results were announced by Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on Tuesday. The pilgrimage center will now be one among 60 smart cities selected so far for the 100 Smart Cities Mission of the Central government.
Among the 27 new smart cities announced, Tirupati has been placed fourth, behind Amritsar, Kalyan-Dombivili and Ujjain. It had to fend off tough competition from 62 cities to make it to the list.
After Visakhapatnam and Kakinada, Tirupati is the third city in Andhra Pradesh to make it to the list. The announcement was greeted with joy by the citizens of Tirupati. Several young people queued up at Tirupati Municipal Corporation (TMC) to greet municipal commissioner Vinay Chand and burst crackers in front of the TMC office.
At some places in the town, people were seen celebrating the announcement by distributing sweets.
Tirupati, one among the most visited pilgrim cities in the world, was proposed for the Smart City Mission to make it a more livable city. Inclusion in the program will involve an aggregate investment of `1,610.95 crores into the city of which `500 crores will be provided by the Central Government. The rest has to be raised by the state government and the Tirupati Municipal Corporation.
According to highly placed sources, there are two components to the Smart City plan: one being Area-Based Development, under which 746 acres will be developed with a budget of `1,370.16 crores; another component will be a Pan City Proposal under which an array of smart solutions are proposed across a variety of themes such as public amenities, effective city operations and resources management, for which the budget will be `240.79 crore.
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BY M. DIVYA SRI