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Smart City Centres helping in improved and efficient delivery of public services: Puri

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Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep S Puri has stated that Smart City Centre project, a unique component of the Smart City Mission, was helping in improved and efficient delivery of public services.
 
He was speaking while chairing the Consultative Committee meeting attached to the Ministry here recently.  Parliament Members KRP Prabhakaran, Raghav Lakhanpal, Rattan Lal Kataria, Santokh Singh Chaudhary, Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary and senior officers of the Ministry attended the meeting.       
 
Presentations were made by the CEO/representatives of Smart Cities from Surat, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Pune, Visakhapatnam, NDMC and Bhubaneshwar. These showcased the progress made by projects in various sectors like Smart classrooms (Visakhapatnam& NDMC), Social Equity Centre (Bhubaneshwar), Mayor’s Express (Bhopal), Disaster resilience mechanism adopted in smart cities located in coastal areas, and so on.
 
The members of Consultative Committee were also shown some of the projects in Surat Smart City like Bamroli Tertiary Treatment Plan, Althan Water Treatment Plant, visible improvement of area-Smart Road, affordable housing projects, vertical garden, BRTS (Gujarat Gas Circle), Surat fort and SMAC Centre. 
 
At present, nine Integrated Control and Command Centre at Ahmedabad, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur, Pune, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara and Bhopal have become operational. Mr Puri said it has been observed that the cities were becoming cleaner due to monitoring of cleaning work through CCTV cameras leading to a reduction in instances of garbage throwing, littering, urinating in public and nighttime burning of garbage. Increase in traffic challan issuing indicated an orientation for better traffic discipline.
 
The Intelligent Transit Management System has helped Ahmedabad to improve its operational efficiency by reducing its operational cost while improving the service levels. Smart City Centres were also providing technical support in ensuring better safety of women on the streets, environmental sensitivity of people, faster response and better preparedness for emergencies and disasters., he added
 
During the course of the meeting, the Minister said that around 1350 projects worth Rs 50,000 crore have been tendered in the Smart City Mission, of which work has begun or has been completed in 950 projects costing Rs 30,675 crore.
 
Another 400 projects costing about Rs. 20,000 crore are at tendering stage.  Other projects being implemented in the mission are Smart Roads which optimize the utilization of space and are adding universal accessibility in 31 cities.  
 
As many as 47 cities were implementing more than 120 MW of solar projects promoting cleaner energy. Development of public spaces like riverfront, waterfronts, rejuvenation of city lakes and ponds are a priority of the mission, he said.
 
“An innovative feature of the mission is that our municipal bodies need to leverage their financial resources by municipal bonds, value capture finance, PPP, multi-lateral loans etc. It is noteworthy that 98 projects costing Rs 6,000 crore are under implementation with Public Private Partnership (PPP). PPP projects are getting good responses not only in the big cities but even in the smaller towns,” he added.
 
He said making Urban Local Bodies financially self-sufficient was very important for sustainable development. The Ministry has also started a campaign to do the credit rating of cities, which has been completed in 412 cities. As many as 155 cities have become "investment grade". 
 
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