Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Urban Development Ministry has allowed 9 more cities to participate in the upcoming Smart Cities Mission competition.
As per The Hindu report, the Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, due to "political compulsions", has allowed nine more capitals, including Patna, Thiruvanthapuram, Bengaluru, Amravati, Itanagar, and Gangatok to participate in the next round of competition.
The report also adds that the Ministry has also allowed the governments of Jammu and Kahmir and Uttar Pradesh to nominate two cities( Rai Bareli and Meerut) in contravention of the rules.
As per the guidelines announced last year, the smart cities would be selected through a two-stage process. First, a state would shortlist potential city and send the name to the Centre, then these nominated cities would compete with each other.
The entire process is incentive-based. The cities are selected on the basis of scores received by them for carrying out urban reforms in areas needing attention like sanitation and governance.
The Urban Development Ministry had selected 20 cities in January, 40 more will be added to the list by the end of 2016.
Each city will be given Rs 500 crore by the Centre over five years for development of the city into a smart city, and the state government will have to match the Centre's contribution.