Modi govt is concerned over low Swachh Bharat ranking of proposed Smart Cities

Smart city: A picture for representation

New Delhi, Sept 14: Many cities selected for new urban initiatives under the centre’s flagship programmes are found to be wanting on the sanitation front and are low on Swachh Bharat ranking causing concern for the government.

With the states on course of preparation of city level plans under the flagship new urban initiatives of smart city mission, Atal mission for rejuvenation and urban transformation (AMRUT) and heritage city development and augmentation yojana (HRIDAY), the common underlying concern is ensuring sanitation under all these schemes.

Concern over cleanliness in urban areas is highlighted by the fact that only 3 of the 98 cities selected so far under smart city mission figure among the top 10 clean cities and most of the 12 HRIDAY cities ranked very low in Swachh Bharat rankings, according to the data prepared by the urban development ministry for 476 class-1 cities of the country.

UD ministry is currently conducting workshops for states and urban local bodies for their understanding of various aspects of preparation of city level smart city plans.

Of the 98 cities identified, 88 of them were given Swachh Bharat rankings. Of these, only 3 cities Kochi, Tiruchirapally and Navi Mumbai are among the top 10 clean cities in the country.

While 29 of these 98 figured among the top 100 cities, in a matter of concern, 38 smart city nominees were ranked beyond 200, including 20 between Swachh Bharat rankings of 301-476.

Of the 12 HRIDAY cities, 8 were given Swachh Bharat rankings. Of these, only Warangal (Andhra Pradesh) got a good swachh bharat rank of 33 while the remaining 7 were ranked between 290 (Kanchipuram) and 430 (Amritsar). Swachh Bharat ranking of other HRIDAY cities, which are of cultural and tourism importance are Mathura (299), Gaya (334), Puri (398) and Varanasi (418).

Central government has provisioned central assistance of Rs 48,000 cr for smart city mission, Rs 50,000 cr for AMRUT for the next five years and Rs 500 cr for HRIDAY during 2015- 17.

Under smart city mission, Rs 100 cr central assistance will be provided to each of the 100 selected cities per year with states and urban local bodies providing matching funds.

(With Agency Inputs)

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