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?
- 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.