New Delhi: Urban Development Ministry Wednesday asked the state governments concerned with the first batch of cities selected under the 'Smart City Mission' to ensure launch of their respective projects by June 25.
The 'Smart City Mission' was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on that day last year.
Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba spoke via video-conferencing to the CEOs of SPVs (special purpose vehicles) set up to implement the plans, and municipal commissioners of 16 cities of the nine states and urged them to ensure launch of projects by June 25, an official statement said.
During the two-hour interaction, Gauba reviewed the progress in tendering and awarding of works for the projects, among other matters.
The first batch of 20 selected smart cities have proposed a total investment of over Rs 48,000 crore over the next four years.
Remaing four smart cities are in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam but were kept out of the review as Assembly elections are in progress in these states.
While urging the smart cities to ensure appointment of full-time CEOs for the SPVs, Gauba asked them to look beyond the IAS cadre, given the shortage of officers and choose professionals for heading the SPVs, it said.
On hearing the responses of different cities, Gauba complimented them for "innovative" thinking and initiatives like mobile governance, LED lighting, smart classrooms and open-air gymnasiums, it said.
Meanwhile, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Chairperson Naresh Kumar said substantial groundwork has already been done for the launch of projects by June this year.
He said a provision of Rs 400 crore for Smart City Project has been made in the budget for this financial year.
Cities that participated in the review were Visakhapatnam and Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Belgavi and Hubbali-Dharwad (Karnataka), Pune and Solapur (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad and Surat (Gujarat), Jaipur and Udaipur (Rajasthan), Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Ludhiana (Punjab) and NDMC.
The central government will provide an assistance of Rs 500 crore for each city and the respective states and urban local bodies will provide an equal amount.
Rest of the required resources have to be mobilised through convergence of all schemes of central and state governments, PPP, municipal bonds and borrowings from financial institutions.