Cabinet approval for Smart Cities and AMRUT - Inputs on Approach

Yesterday, the Union Cabinet approved Central Government spending of about one lakh crore on urban development under two new urban missions over the next five years. The Cabinet has approved the Smart Cities Mission and the AMRUT Mission with outlays of Rs.48,000 crore and Rs.50,000 crore respectively.

Kindly review the details below and share your inputs on the approach that should be used for the execution of these missions.

Cabinet approval for Smart Cities and AMRUT

Under the Smart Cities Mission, each selected city would get central assistance of Rs.100 crore per year for five years. Smart City aspirants will be selected through a ‘City Challenge Competition’ intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission objectives. Each state will shortlist a certain number of smart city aspirants as per the norms to be indicated and they will prepare smart city proposals for further evaluation for extending Central support.

This Mission of building 100 smart cities intends to promote adoption of smart solutions for efficient use of available assets, resources and infrastructure with the objective of enhancing the quality of urban life and providing a clean and sustainable environment. Special emphasis will be given to participation of citizens in prioritizing and planning urban interventions. It will be implemented through ‘area based’ approach consisting of retrofitting, redevelopment, pan-city initiatives and development of new cities.

Under smart cities initiative, focus will be on core infrastructure services like: Adequate and clean Water supply, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, Efficient Urban Mobility and Public Transportation, Affordable housing for the poor, power supply, robust IT connectivity, Governance, especially e-governance and citizen participation, safety and security of citizens, health and education and sustainable urban environment.

Smart City Action Plans will be implemented by Special Purpose Vehicles(SPV) to be created for each city and state governments will ensure steady stream of resources for SPVs.

The two missions are interlinked. AMRUT adopts a project approach to ensure basic infrastructure services relating to water supply, sewerage, septage management, storm water drains, transport and development of green spaces and parks with special provision for meeting the needs of children. Implementation of this Mission will be linked to promotion of urban reforms such as e-governance, constitution of professional municipal cadre, devolving funds and functions to urban local bodies, review of Building bye-laws, improvement in assessment and collection of municipal taxes, credit rating of urban local bodies, energy and water audit and citizen-centric urban planning.

This Mission will be implemented in 500 cities and towns each with a population of one lakh and above, some cities situated on stems of main rivers, a few capital cities and important cities located in hilly areas, islands and tourist areas.

Further to today’s Cabinet approval, a minimum investment of over Rs. 2 lakh crore would flow into urban areas over the next five years (2015-16 – 2019-20) since States and urban local bodies would mobilise matching resources ranging from 50 percent to 66 percent. In addition, substantial private investments would be mobilized by states and urban local bodies through PPP model as required to meet project costs.

The architecture of the Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT is guided by the twin objectives of meeting the challenges of growing urbanization in the country in a sustainable manner as well as ensuring the benefits of urban development to the poor through increased access to urban spaces and enhanced employment opportunities. more  

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Gr8ly relieved 2hear the Pune I belong to (my KarmaBhoomi), No 11 SwachhStatus, de powers dat b hv now moved away fm earlier decision of exclusive development of a single locality viz., AUNDH, and instead, decided on all round development, including Re-Development --wherever smartness is MOST needed. I am listing below some areas where such Smart CityDev is required:

(A)-PUNE RAILWAY STATION AREA: Pune needs a swanky Railway Station. That man Kalmadi promised, promised and promised but never acted an iota. De-congest by re-developing this mighty high chaotic, most congested area of Eye Sores --like short-sighted, piecemeal developed "Thookdaan Flyovers~Underpasses" (with ramshackle railings), Unruly Wheeled-Trolley Fruit Vendors, Transport Institute, Chaotic Unsheltered Car Park, Begging for Funds Road Bridge widening to the East touching Jahangir Hospital, Apology of an Inter-state BusStand (there is no designated Inter-State Bus Stand as yet, other than the congested, chaotic Swargate BusStand in Pune), Health Hazard-prone Sassoon Hospital, Admin Thook-Daan of Distt Magistrate's Office, highly Carcinogenic 100-yr old "Asbestos-roofed" Railway Offices adjacent to "Mall Dhaka" --demolish them all shift them elsewhere or move them all into appropriate high riser buildings after Re-development. This major bottleneck shpuld be removed lock, stock and barrel forthwith to develop a freeway to MG Road Biz District and onwards into Pune Cantonment and Pune's Lohegaon Airport. Don't wait for Chakan Airport 2develop it will take 20-yrs -- mind U laid back Pune Corporators, U chronic prisoners of indecision, pushing Pune Infra Projects in2 an unending cycle of Cost-Budget over runs.

(B)-WIDEN THE AUNDH-BRIDGE TO UNIVERSITY JUNCTION ROAD INTO BRTS MODE. Again victim of piece meal Dev Trickles bogged down what's otherwise de beginning an rapidly developing ultra-Modern Smart City BRTS Road touching Outer Aundh, Sanghvi, Aundh Hospital, Rakshak Nagar, Wakad Chowk area on in2 Dange Chowk 2Chinchwad. Luckily we have enough space for Road widening on either side of the existing UnivRoad: Demolish the Pune Univ Staff Quarters Compound Wall, claim 10ft in2 de 4-Running km length till Pune Univ Police Station, Claim 10ft in2 Gov Bungalow compound wall (after constructing a new compound inside wall, move the Univ Police Station to the Chaturshringi Temple Area well in2 Temple Complex (space is available) -- {do away permanently with de Annual Dassarah Mela)-- in2 a swanky new Building, Re-develop Bremen Chowk, Demolish Aundh Police Station (blocking the way), shift same in2 a swanky New Building, de-congest the approach road by constructing a new 30ft Elevated Flyover merging in2 the newly constructed flyover.

(C)-PUSH UNIV MILLENNIUM ENTRANCE GATE WELL IN2 THE UNIVERSITY COMPOUND BEYOND SECURITY AREA. AND CONNECT UNIV JUNCTION VIA RANGE HILLS, THEREON WITH OLD MUMBAI-PUNE ROAD (ARTERIAL DECONGESTION IS LIKE A HEART BY-PASS SURGERY) VIA EXISTING PATHETICALLY NARROW KHADKI RLY UNDERPASS (RE-DEVELOP TO A 40 FT FLYOVER APPROACH RAIL BRIDGE ) IN2 A SWANKY FUTURISTIC KHADKI RAILWAY STATION. AND IN THE PROCESS ERECT A SMART-HIGH-PEDESTAL SAVITRI BHAI PHULE STATUE AT THE UNIV MILLENNIUM GATE. DONT YIELD TO TYPICAL IAS ADMIN COST-CUTTERS' ADVIcE OFT TURNING OUT TO BE
A SHORT-CHANGER IN TERMS OF QUANTUM, ASSET VALUE AND AESTHETICS.

(D)-HAVE A HEART AND RE-DEVELOP WITH VENGEANCE WHAT WAS ONCE UPON A TIME A PEACEFUL EVENING UNIV FOUNTAIN COOL TIME FACILITY FOR SR CITIZENS, UNIV INTELLECTUALS IN AND AROUND THAT BEAUTIFUL HUB OF ACADEMIC PLUS MILITARY R&D INSTITUTIONAL AREA. ERECT A SECURITY GATE TO MILITARY R&D INSTITUTIONAL AREA RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF PASHAN ROAD.

(E)-DEVELOP AN AESTHETICALLY AWESOME, SMART MULTI-STAGE FYOVER (SPEGATTI JUNCTION) AT PUNE UNIV 5-ROAD JUNCTION AS A VERTICALLY FACILTATING 3-TIER FREEWAY --LANDING IN2 (A)- TO BE CONSTRUCTED UNIV2KHADKI ROAD VIA RANGE HILLS ORDNANCE FACTORY AREA, (B)-PASHAN RAOD, AND (C)-GOVERNOR'S BUNGALOW-BREMEN CHOWK ROAD: MOST URGENTLY RELIEVE WHATS HITHERTO MOTORISTS' CHAK O' BLOCK CHOKE JUNCTION WASTING DE INTELLECTUAL TIME OF OUR "OXFORD OF INDIA" -- "PUNE's" -- SENIOR CITIZENS AND IT EXPERTS COMMUTING TO N FRO PUNE CITY TO HINJEWADI IT PARK. PUNE UNIV's SAVITRI BHAI PHULE JUNCTION RE-DEVELOPMENT SHD CATAPULT PUNE IN2 NO 1 IN ALL INDIA SWACHH RATINGS, IF ONE SWACHH AREA IS THE CRITERIA.

MAHA'S CONG GOVTS DELIBERATELY LEFT THE UNIV JUNCTION SO UTTERLY CHAOTIC, UNKEMPT AND ACCIDENT PRONE, LET EVEN HUNDREDS OF INTELLECTUALS, WHO KNOWS POTENTIAL "NOBEL LAUREATES" DIE IN ROAD ACCIDENTS AT THIS CHAOTIC JUNCTION (HOW MANY WOULD HAVE DIED NO COUNT) THAT SEEMS TO BE WELCOME FOR THEM. GIVEN THE EMERGING PRIMARY COLORS OF THAT BLESSED PARTY, ONCE PROFESSED AS A GOP

(F)-THE SANGHAM BRIDGE ROAD ALONGSIDE RAIL TRACK BE WIDENED TO ACCOMMODATE BRTS. THERE IS GOOD POTENTIAL TO WIDEN THE ROAD FURTHER ON FROM MAAL DHAKKA TO MG ROAD JUNCTION. THERE IS ENOUGH RECLAIMABLE SPACE ON EITHER SIDE. REMOVE THE STEEL RODS AND GRANITE VENDOR SHOPS DOTTING THAT ROAD, WHICH, ONCE UPON A TIME ILLEGAL, CORRUPT CONGIS MIGHT HAVE REGULARISED. ON THE LEFT SIDE REMOVE THE SBI OFFICE AS ALSO DE PETROL BUNKS TO AN ELEVATED LEVEL SO LEAVING ROOM FOR VEHICLES MOVE FAST UNDERNEATH (SUGAMYA BHARATH ABHIYAN)

(G)-DEVELOP PUNE RLY STATION AS AN 80-STORIED BLDG COMPLEX UNDER A PPP ROPING IN HOTELIERING INVESTORS ACCOMMODATING HOTEL ROOMS, PROVIDING PART SUBSIDISED RETIRING ROOMS FOR RAILWAYS, A SWANKY COMMERCIAL COMPLEX WHERE VENDORS WHO HAVE BEEN VACATED CAN FIND SHOP SPACES. TAKE A LOOK AT AMSTERDAM'S SCHIPOLL AIRPORT AND THE NEW YORK GRAND CENTRAL STATION.

(F)- ITS NOT JUST CITIES -- ITS FUTURISTIC MEGA URBAN CONGLOMERATIONS (MUCs) LIKE MUMBAI-PUNE -- NEED TO BE SHOWCASED AS THE ULTIMATE IN WORLD CLASS OFFICE-COMMERCIAL HOTELIERING-ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCES. IN SUCH RAIL LAND PRIMED URBAN CONGLOMERATIONS. MOTORISTS SHD STRAIGHT AWAY DRIVE IN2 THE RAILWAY PLATFORMS, COMMUTERS CAN FIND ESCALATUER ACCESS TO IMMACULATELY CLEAN (LIKE IN CHANGI AIRPORT, SINGAPORE) BUS STATIONS PLYING ON IN2 SELECT CITY FAST MOVING BRTS ROUTES (FMBRS) -- inspiration FMCG- after all, nothing can be a more FMCG than "fast buds travel" like Pune BRTS is eminently doing these days to n fro Pune's outskirt destinations

Nyayapati V.L.N. Balramdas
Pune more  
The project is really good, but to materialize it, we will require a competent Human Resource, So if we are outsourcing various activities mentioned for smart cities then the strategies will be different and approach of citizens will also be different.

But if we want to have govt departments to build all this then this is going to be a challenging task. Because as we all know that Govt departments selection is based not on merits but Cast and religion. And for 50% of team A compromised and non competent employee will be deployed where we could have measurable good employee. So we can not expect excellent result when we have not provided the excellent team to these departments. more  
With respect to the last few points, attached below:

There must be a online web-based portal, that will track the amount of money
(1) planned,
(2) collected,
(3) expected,
(4) committed by industrial houses and
(5) failed to collect
from local bodies, corporates

Further to today’s Cabinet approval, a minimum investment of over Rs. 2 lakh crore would flow into urban areas over the next five years (2015-16 – 2019-20) since States and urban local bodies would mobilise matching resources ranging from 50 percent to 66 percent. In addition, substantial private investments would be mobilized by states and urban local bodies through PPP model as required to meet project costs. more  
mere talk ? or can one expect some actual ground work ? more  
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