States seek financial help to develop Smart Cities

September 15, 2014

Unanimously welcoming the Smart City initiative of the Centre, states have demanded technical help to prepare project reports and higher financial assistance to execute the scheme.

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu today reviewed the suggestions and views from states and Union Territories expressed at the national conclave held yesterday and directed officials to examine the suggestions in detail.

He has also asked the concerned officials to prepare a proposal for discussion at an inter-ministerial meeting where Ministers of Finance and Defence, Highways and Surface Transport, Railways, Power, Environment and Forests are likely to attend.

Reiterating the importance of smart leadership in developing smart cities, Naidu said he would write to all the Chief Ministers on the need for proper decision making to enhance revenues of urban local bodies and improving urban governance.

States have made ten broad suggestions for developing Smart Cities including seeking flexibility in implementation, capacity building, higher central assistance in view of the resource constraints of urban local bodies and expeditious clearances by the Centre, said a senior Urban Development official.

Higher level of Viability Gap Funding with respect to solid waste management and water supply projects, capital expenditure to be borne by central government since private operators can only manage the operations and maintenance with utility charges and Special Purpose Vehicles to be created for executing the projects are some of the suggestions made by states at the conclave.

Some states referred to the difficulties associated with adoption of Public-Private Partnership model with respect to some urban projects in view of the complexities involved and levying of user charges.

Source:Economic Times


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