Special Content


Issue no 41, 08-14 January 2022

Smart Cities Mission

Sameera Saurabh

Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 25 June 2015 with the objective to promote cities which provide core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and give a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions.’ The Mission focuses on sustainable and inclusive development by creation of replicable models (through Area Based Development and Pan city development approaches) which act as lighthouses to other aspiring cities.

As part of Smart City Plans, 100 Smart Cities have proposed to execute a total of 5,151 projects worth Rs. 2,05,018 crores in 5 years from their respective dates of selection. Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) established in 100 Smart Cities support implementation of Smart City Projects. 100 cities were selected to be developed as Smart Cities through a twostage National competition.

The Mission is operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Central Government will give financial support to the extent of Rs. 48,000 crores over 5 years i.e., on an average Rs. 100 crore per city per year. An equal amount on a matching basis is to be provided by the State/ULB. Additional resources are to be raised through convergence, from ULBs’ own funds, grants under Finance Commission, innovative finance mechanisms such as Municipal Bonds, other government programs and borrowings. Emphasis has been given on the participation of private sector through Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Citizens’ aspirations were captured in the Smart City Proposals (SCPs) prepared by the selected cities. Aggregated at the national level, these proposals contained more than 5,000 projects worth over Rs. 2,00,000 crores, of which around 45 percent are to be funded through Mission grants, 21 percent through convergence, 21 percent through PPP and rest from other sources . Mission has a two-pronged strategy consisting of Pan-City and Area-Based development projects.

Smart Cities address issues across three broad pillars: Liveability, Economic-ability and Sustainability. Major issues highlighted by citizens during the comprehensive exercise of citizen engagement were urban mobility, affordable housing, water and used-water management, sanitation, solid waste management, safety, security, health, education, and energy security. These issues relate to liveability- which is the first pillar. The power of cities to drive economic growth has been wellresearched and accepted. Need for better investment climate, jobs as per talent, investments, innovation, reduced levels of unemployment are other aspirations expressed by citizens. These together represent the economic-ability pillar. Climate change, conservation of natural resources and sustainable development concerns one and all. Sustainable development is a state of dynamic equilibrium wherein everyday actions on technology, infrastructure, processes, investments are taken in a manner which balances both present and future concerns of society. Smart Cities promote sustainability, the third pillar.

Current Implementation Status

Overall progress of the Mission as on 10 December 2021 shows great momentum in execution. Of the total committed investments of Rs. 2,05,018 crore as per approved Smart Cities Plans, as on 10 December 2021, 6,499 projects worth Rs. 1,86,245 crores (90%) have been tendered; of these 5,873 projects worth Rs. 1,57,784 crores (77%) are under implementation. Out of these, 3,184 projects worth Rs. 53,485 crores (26%) are already completed.

Over the last three years, the progress of implementation has significantly picked up and there has been 272% growth in tendering, 410% growth in projects grounded/completed and 918% growth in projects completed.

GOI has transferred Rs. 27,749.60 crore to Smart Cities (57.8)% of committed central assistance of Rs. 48,000 crore. Rs. 22,866.25 crore (82.4% of GOI release) is already utilized by Smart Cities.

Projects being executed across Smart Cities can be categorized as:

·Integrated command & control centres (ICCCs) to help cities in evidence-based smart governance, have been operationalised in 75 cities and are in progress in remaining 25 cities. Total investment worth over Rs. 15,000 crore is planned under the mission.

·Towards boosting urban mobility, smart cities have completed over 344 smart road projects and 438 projects are nearing completion with investments worth over Rs. 20,000 crore.

·Recognising the need for collaborations/partnerships with private sector to bring efficiencies 140 PPP projects have been completed and 161 projects under progress with investments worth Rs. 25,000 crore approximately.

·With focus on public spaces like river/lake fronts, parks and playgrounds, tourism destinations, 79 vibrant urban space projects are completed, and 65 projects are in progress with investments worth over Rs. 6,600 crore.

·Towards making our cities more liveable and sustainable, 119 smart water projects and 63 smart solar projects have been completed. Further, 196 smart water and 32 smart solar projects are in the pipeline.

Other Significant Initiatives

The Mission has launched several initiatives that will not only ensure integrated development across various aspects of urban development but also help lay long-term foundation for good quality urbanization in our country. Some of these initiatives are:

1. Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) (launched 2019) to measure quality of life and city performance rolled out in 114 Cities. Over 31 lakh citizens engaged with as part of Citizen Perception Survey. The findings under the Ease of Living Index 2020 have been captured in the portal - https://eol.smartcities.gov.in/

2. City GDP FrameworkMeasuring City GDP enables cities to do improve their socioeconomic and infrastructure planning.

3. Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework-is first-of-its-kind public assessment framework on climate relevant parameters, provides a clear roadmap for the cities towards combating Climate Change. It was launched in 2019 as a mechanism to assess and strengthen climate-sensitive development practices in India’s cities. The second edition of the annual assessment, CSCAF 2.0 was launched in September 2020. The final report of the assessment was released on 25 June 2021. The assessment was open to all Smart Cities, all Capital cities and all cities above 500,000 in population. The 126 participating cities were assessed through 28 diverse indicators across 5 thematic areas. The results of CSCAF-2.0 are available at https://niua.org/ c-cube/c- cube-documents.

4. Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF)- has been framed to assess a city’s data readiness across 100 Smart Cities. The Results Dashboard, City Recommendations and Final Assessment Report are available on the DMAF portal, www.dmaf. mohua.gov.in.

5. ICCC Maturity Assessment Framework (IMAF)- is a self-assessment tool kit developed to assess the maturity of Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) across key aspects.

6. Data Smart Cities rolled out in 100 Smart Cities to help cities create a data ecosystem for data-driven governance (smartcities.data.gov.in). Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF) rolled out to help cities undergo a process of selfevaluation and embrace a dataculture Center for Digital Governance (CDG) has been established in NIUA. Two rounds of annual assessment completed during 2019-20 and 2020- 21.

7. India Urban Observatory (IUO)-established at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), is a state-of-the-art interactive showcase of collective insights on Indian cities by leveraging advanced AI/ML, Data science, Analytics & visualization capabilities

8. India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX) launched in 2020-21 to facilitate secure and authenticated exchange of data amongst various data platforms, 3rd party applications, data producers and consumers.

9. Smart Cities Open Data initiative- A dedicated and separate Open Government Data (OGD) Instance has been created by NIC for Smart Cities Mission and https://smartcities. data.gov.in portal was launched in 2019. The portal is designed to host open datasets of 100 Smart Cities of India and more than 3,800 datasets from 100 Smart Cities are already uploaded on the portal for free access to public.

10. National Urban Innovation Stack (NUIS) - NUIS aims to catalyse transformative collaboration in the urban ecosystem through establishing a shared digital public good.

11. National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM)-National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) was launched to institutionalize citizen-centric and ecosystemdriven approach to urban governance and service delivery across all cities and towns by 2024.

12. ICT standards- Fifteen Smart Cities Standards have been developed over a 3-year long journey of sustained engagement with Bureau of Indian Standards that will act as guideline for cities in their journeys of adopting ICTs in strategies & practice.

13. Transport 4 All (T4All) Challenge- The Transport 4 All challenge was launched in collaboration with ITDP on 15 April 2021. A total of 130 Cities (all 100 smart and 30 non-SCM cities) have registered for the Transport 4 All Challenge so far. The Challenge aims to bring together cities, citizen groups, and start-ups to develop solutions that improve public transport to better serve the needs of all citizens.

14. Eat Smart Cities Challenge-Smart Cities Mission is association with FSSAI launched a nationwide challenge for the Indian Smart Cities – ‘Eat Smart Cities Challenge’ on 15th April 2021. This challenge is an annual competition among smart cities to recognize their efforts in adopting and scaling up various initiatives under Eat Right India.

15. City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) Challenge - CITIIS, a sub-component of the Smart Cities Mission, is financed through a EUR 100 million loan from AFD and EUR 6 million grant from the European Union. 12 Projects from 12 Smart Cities were selected for funding under this program in February 2019. During FY 2020-21, the 12 selected SPVs in the CITIIS program underwent an innovative design phase.

16. Climate Centre for CitiesMinistry announced Climate Centre for Cities (C-Cube) to drive climate action in Indian cities under the aegis of NIUA. The Centre will act as one stop shop for climate informed actions in Urban India.

17. Climate Smart Cities Alliance- Ministry has envisaged a Climate Smart Cities Alliance to further mainstream climate actions in Urban India. As of now, 54 organizations have provided concurrence to be member of the alliance including 100 Smart Cities in India.

18. India Smart Cities Fellowship Program- India Smart Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program was launched on 9th July 2018. The objective was to select a cohort of promising young professionals who have the potential to contribute to the innovation ecosystem that is fast developing around the SCM. So far, 123 Smart City Fellows have been inducted and 85 have completed training.

19. The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP)- launched in June 2020 to match opportunities in ULBs/smart cities with learning needs of fresh graduates.

20. ICCCs as COVID-19 War Rooms: Integrated Command & Control Centers (ICCCs) have been operationalized in 75 Smart Cities. State/District/City Administrations converted ICCCs into COVID-19 War Rooms and used existing Smart Infrastructure for effective management of the pandemic. The response to COVID-19 in Smart Cities can be classified in four areas, viz., Information, Communication, Management and Preparedness.

SCM Activities During AKAM

To commemorate the 75th year of India’s Independence being celebrated as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM), during the week beginning 27th September till 3rd October 2021, GoI planned numerous events across States and cities including 100 smart cities. Under the Smart Cities Mission, following three activities were taken up in 100 Smart Cities as part of AKAM celebrations:

·22+Citiesx75 Hours Placemaking Marathon - The Smart Cities Mission encouraged cities to reimagine at least one public space in their city and transform it within 75 hours. 32 cities participated hosting public events and programming the transformed spaces in a way that celebrates our azadi, while also celebrating our cities. 22+Cities, transformed 50+public spaces in 75 hours. This equaled to about 1 lakh square meters of public spaces in cities. The projects focused on building cities for the people and with the people. To make cities safer for walking & cycling. To make neighbourhood parks and public amenities like anganwadis and health centers more stimulating for young children to aid their physical and cognitive development. To cater to the needs of caregivers – especially pregnant and lactating mothers, and to ensure we have access to hygienic food in public spaces. These were done as light quick and cheap trials. So that these ideas can be tested and improved upon before more permanent and cost-intensive projects are undertaken at scale. The details of the initiative can be accessed from https://smart net.niua.org/placemaking marathon

·Freedom Walk/Run/ Cycling Campaign - Through this campaign, over 220 events encouraging citizens to walk, cycle or run were held across the 100 participating cities between 1st to 3rd October 2021. There were 40 events held to empower women to walk & cycle, 25 events to identify junior walk & bicycle champions, 115 events to bring more pedestrians and cyclists on the street and 15 temporary interventions were tested to make walking and cycling safe and fun.

·Freedom through Technology- Under Freedom through Technology, the Smart Cities Mission encouraged the cities to host an event in their ICCC / ICT centers between 27th Sept to 3rd October 2021 showcasing successful technological ICT interventions to the citizens focusing on how cities are achieving technology enabled freedom. 75 cities together engaged more than 7500 citizens showcasing their ICCC capabilities with 200+ use cases which were well received by citizens and other city stakeholders. The events focused on the readiness of the cities to mitigate challenges across nine themes viz. Freedom from Crime, Freedom from Traffic, Freedom from Waste, Freedom from Waterscarcity, Freedom from Queues, Freedom from Green House Gases (GHGs), Freedom from Pollution, Freedom from Disease and Freedom from Inefficiency.

(The author is Director, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India).

Views expressed are personal