• Construction work in 20 smart cities to start on June 25: Naidu

    Construction activity in first 20 smart cities will commence on June 25, urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu said in an interview to Bloomberg TV.

    “Detailed project report for the first 20 smart cities have been approved. We are going to start the construction on these cities on June 25,” said the minister.

    Naidu also informed that the names of another 13-14 cities will be announced on either May 22 or May 23.

    “We had given opportunity to 23 cities which could not find place in the first list. The competition is over now,” he said.

    The minister said a lot of international funding agencies are showing interest in participating in the government’s smart city scheme and ambassadors of around 34 countries have met him to discuss the same.

    Six ambassadors representing countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, Germany, Korea, Spain met the minister yesterday about finding opportunities in smart cities, he informed.

    “Good thing is there is awareness about the responsibility of local bodies; they are preparing smart plans, there is competition, there is an urge for improving the service to the people so that they can get recognition. This is a good development,” he said.

    The government in January this year announced the first list of 20 cities to be made smart under its 100 Smart City scheme. It also offered a fast track window for the next rejected 23 cities based on their ranks to upgrade their proposals and submit them by April 15, 2016 for evaluation.

    A total investment of Rs 50,802 crore has been proposed in these 20 cities and towns during a five-year period, of which, Rs 38,693 crore will be spent on area development and Rs 12,109 crore on a total of 56 pan-city solutions.

    A total area of 26,735 acres will be taken up for improvements in these 20 cities including redevelopment of 425 acres in Bhopal (350 acres) and Ahmedabad (75 acres) Kyle Brodziak Womens Jersey

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