20 Cities Named For $7.5 Billion 'Smart City' Makeover: 10 Facts

PM Narendra Modi launched the 'Smart Cities' project last year

New Delhi: The government today named 20 cities that will soon get a 50,800 crore or 7.5 billion dollar makeover to turn them into 'Smart Cities' with facilities and infrastructure comparable to Europe. The cities will be given funds to solve problems from power cuts to poor sanitation to traffic.

Here are 10 facts on Smart Cities

  1. The cities chosen are Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davangere, Indore, the New Delhi area, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal.

  2. Thirteen of them are in the WHO list of the 20 most polluted cities in the world.

  3. The 20 names were picked from a list of 97 cities submitted by states during a competition last year. The choices were judged on service levels, infrastructure and track record. More than 2.5 million citizens weighed in on which urban problems needed to be solved first.

  4. "The competition was as rigorous as the civil services exam," remarked Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.

  5. None of the cities are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. On the other hand, some states have two or more nominees - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

  6. To qualify, states and local administrations had to provide "smart answers" to a template with 43 questions.

  7. The cities not named today will be asked to get their act together, focus on deficiencies and prepare for Round 2 of announcements in April.

  8. In December last year, 97 selected cities had submitted their plans to the ministry and were given Rs.2 crore each.

  9. PM Modi has vowed to create 100 new smart cities by 2022 that will have internet connectivity, e-governance along with quality infrastructure such as waste management and efficient public transport.

  10. The prime minister had described Smart Cities as those with "very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city".