New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) 20 cities to be developed as Smart Cities across the country were today identified by the Central government, with Bhubaneswar topping the list that has been finalised after competition among 97 contenders.
Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bhopal as also the NDMC area of Delhi are among those selected for the ambitious programme but Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi failed to make it to the list, the first in the series.
Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati and Ludhiana are the other cities selected in the first batch.
Altogether 100 cities are to be developed into Smart Cities as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious programme. For this, the Centre has earmarked Rs 48,000 crore and the states will have to contribute the equal amount.
Under the programme, each selected city will be given Rs 500 crore over a period of five years by the Centre with the respective states expected to make the matching contribution.
Each state was given a quota of nominations on the basis of size, population and the number of notified cities and the first list was chosen after a competition among 97 contenders.
Uttar Pradesh had got the maximum quota of 13 cities for nomination but only 12 cities including Jhansi, Moradabad, Saharanpur and Bareli participated in the contest. However, none of them qualified in the first list.
With regard to the 13th city, the state government remained indecisive on choosing between Rae Bareli (Sonia Gandhi's constituency) and Meerut.
Varanasi ranked way down at 96th position, only before Dehradun which stood at the bottom of the list.
Jammu and Kashmir, which had to send name for just one city, did not send any nomination as it did not take a call on whether it should be Srinagar or Jammu.
Releasing the list, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah said these cities will be developed to have infrastructure like assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation are some of the highlights of the initiative.
The contest was as rigorous and demanding as the civil services competition, Naidu said about the list in which 10 cities belonged to states ruled by the NDA.
The cities were selected on the basis of of implementation framework, including feasibility and cost-effectiveness, which had a weightage of 30 per cent, followed by result-orientation (20 pc), citizen participation (16 pc), smartness of proposal (10 pc), strategic plan (10 pc), vision and goals (5 pc), evidence-based city profiling and key performance indicators (5 pc) and processes followed (4 pc).
Congratulating the winners of the competition, Modi said, "I wish the cities the very best as they move forward with implementation and transform urban India."