Pune, Solapur among 20 cities on the first list
The NDA government’s ambitious scheme to develop 100 smart cities kicked off on Thursday with the Centre announcing the names of the first batch of 20 urban centres that have made the cut.
Of the 20, nine cities were selected from BJP-ruled states — Gujarat (Surat, Ahmedabad), Rajasthan (Jaipur, Udaipur), Madhya Pradesh (Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur) and Maharashtra (Solapur, Pune) — while four belonged to Congress-ruled Assam (Guwahati), Kerala (Kochi) and Karnataka (Belgaum and Davangere).
Poll-bound West Bengal did not make the cut as did Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
In fact, 13 cities from Uttar Pradesh were short-listed but all of them lost the first round. “Selection is one thing, qualifying for the project quite another.
Population and the size of the state were cited as the two main reasons when UP got the maximum cities short-listed under the plan. I am sure our turn would come in the next round. It’s just a matter of timing,” an official said in Lucknow.
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Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu releasing the list of 20 smart cities.