Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc.

Smart Cities Mission: With 2023 deadline looming, a status check


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Smart Cities Mission

Mains level : Not Much


Central idea: The Govt asks 20 worst-performing cities to improve as June 2023 Smart Cities Mission deadline nears.

What is the Smart Cities Mission?

smart cities

  • The Smart Cities Mission is an initiative of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry that was launched by PM on June 25, 2015.
  • Cities across the country were asked to submit proposals for projects to improve municipal services and to make their jurisdictions more liveable.
  • Between January 2016 and June 2018 (when the last city, Shillong, was chosen), the Ministry selected 100 cities for the Mission over five rounds.

Deadline of the project

  • The projects were supposed to be completed within five years of the selection of the city.
  • However, in 2021 the Ministry changed the deadline for all cities to June 2023, which was earlier the deadline for Shillong alone.

What kinds of projects were proposed?

  • Project proposals ranged from making certain stretches of roads more accessible and pedestrian-friendly to more capital-intensive ones like laying water pipelines and constructing sewage treatment plants.
  • All 100 cities have constructed Integrated Command and Control Centres.
  • These centres monitor all security, emergency and civic services.
  • During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of these centres were converted into emergency response units by the cities.

What is the status of the projects?

  • As of March 3, 100 cities have issued work orders for 7,799 projects worth Rs 1.80 lakh crore.
  • Out of these, 5,399 projects worth Rs.1.02 lakh crore have been completed, and the rest are ongoing.
  • Only around 20 cities are likely to meet the June deadline. The rest will need more time.
  • Shillong has completed just one of its 18 proposed projects.


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