• Pune to hire professional CEO for smart city project

    Pune will be the first city among the first batch of 20 Smart Cities to hire a professional as the chief executive officer (CEO) to execute the ambitious project. In almost all other cities, bureaucrats have been posted as CEOs.

    Sources in the urban development ministry said the city administration has informed them about the decision and they will select the candidate by inviting applications from professionals. “This approach is good and prove more productive. As such, there have also been examples of central government bringing in professionals at secretary level,” said an official.

    The Smart City guidelines of UD ministry provides for appointment of CEOs to drive the concept and oversee execution rather than leaving these tasks to municipal bodies. The CEOs will be the executive head of special purpose vehicles (SPV) for each city like that for Metro rail projects where managing directors are the sole in-charge. They will hold office for a fixed tenure of three years.

    These SPVs will be headed by a divisional commissioner, collector, municipal commissioner or head of development authority. In Bhubaneswar, an additional chief secretary has been appointed as the head of the SPV.

    Almost all selected cities in the first lot have set up SPVs. As per Smart City Mission guidelines, central assistance of Rs 200 crore for each selected city would be released only upon incorporation of SPVs. 

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