Vizag and four other cities lead the Smart Cities Mission

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Visakhapatnam along with four other cities, which include Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Surat and Ahmedabad, is leading the progress made under the first round of the government’s Smart Cities Mission.

Mission Director (Smart Cities) Sameer Sharma said, “We have reviewed the progress of Visakhapatnam under the smart cities mission with the consultants and CEO of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed. Under the project, development of footpaths will go for bidding by November 30; water supply for the city by October 31, sewerage also by October 30, etc.”

Visakhapatnam had ranked eighth in the first round of the smart cities challenge.

On the overall progress, Sharma informed that all 20 cities in the first round have already formed SPVs and most have readied Production Management Contracts (PMCs) also. “Projects across all these cities are expected to kick-start by December,” he said.

In of January this year, 20 cities were announced in the first round of the smart cities. Following which in May, the Ministry of Urban Development announced 13 more winners of the smart city tag under the fast-track round.

“Out of the 13 selected in the fast-track round, six cities, including Panaji, Chandigarh, Port Blair, Lucknow, have formed SPVs and remaining seven are in the last stage of formation of SPV and are expected to do so by the end of this month,” Sharma said.

Meanwhile, the government is also pursuing a loan of $1 billion from Asian Development Bank and another $500 million from the World Bank to provide funds to the city SPVs, apart from Japanese International Cooperation Agency ($500 million), BRICS Bank ($500 million per city), AFD (€100-200 million).

“The funds from World Bank are expected to flow in six months. It will be in phases,” he added.

Source : Urbannewsdigest



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