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Nagpur, Indore and Surat lead implementation of smart city plan

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Nagpur, Indore, Surat, Vadodara and Udaipur are doing better in the implementation of smart city plans in comparison to other cities that have been selected for smart city project, according to an analysis by urban development ministry. Five out of the 17 best performing cities were selected in the second round of smart city competition in September end. What has come as a surprise is seven southern cities from the first batch of 20 smart cities are lagging behind with Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh) doing well with an Investment Conversion Ratio (ICR) of 55% among them.

ICR indicates the extent of conversion of approved smart city plans into investments through ground level implementation.The ministry’s analysis also shows how the cities selected about eight months back are doing better than the 13 cities that were announced through a fast track competition in May. The urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu had announced the first track competition after some of the opposition leaders had raised questions on why none of the cities from a few states did not find place in the list.

Smart city plans of 60 cities have so far been approved by the urban development ministry. The first set of 20 were announced January, second lot of 13 fast track cities were declared in May and another 27 were named in September last year.According to the ministry’s analysis, Nagpur, among the 27 round-two cities has reported performance with an ICR of 249% having lined up an investment of Rs 2,500 crore as against the Rs 1,002 crore investment proposed in the approved smart city plan for the city. Indore has lined up Rs 4,900 crore investment as against Rs 5,099 crore proposed in the plan approved by the Centre. Surat has also lined up Rs 2,500 crore investment while the plan approved was for Rs 2,597 crore.

“With an overall ICR of 49% in less than a year and a half of announcement, the performance of first batch of 20 smart cities in respect of implementation of smart city plans is encouraging, though some of them, particularly, the southern cities need to pick up momentum. Fast track and round-two cities, which deserve more time to improve ICR have, during the review assured the ministry that conversion of respective smart city plans into ground level projects would speed up resulting in increased ICR,” a ministry spokesperson said.

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