India to Spend $580 Million to Develop First 20 ‘Smart Cities’
India’s government will provide 40 billion rupees ($580 million) to upgrade the infrastructure of the first 20 cities selected under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s smart cities program, according to a statement from the Ministry of Urban Development on Saturday. Six cities — Jabalpur, Indore and Bhopal in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, and Jaipur and Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan — have set up special purpose vehicles to implement the government’s plan to promote digital and information technology and best practices in urban planning. This is the first phase of the government’s plan to convert 100 cities in the country by 2020 to so-called smart cities as a push toward improving quality of life through urbanization. India will invest more than 500 billion rupees in the drive over the next five years.