22nd September, 2018

Frequently asked questions about Smart City Mission

Smart City Mission Frequently Asked Questions



1) What is the Smart City Mission? When was it launched?

Smart City Mission is an ambitious urban development initiative undertaken under the Ministry of Urban Development which aims to facilitate urban planning and reforms, improve governance, develop the infrastructural ecosystem and improve the quality of life in 109 of India’s fast growing cities. It was launched in 2015 as flagship initiative of the Government of India.

2) Why was the Smart City Mission launched?

Smart City Mission was launched in order to tackle the rapid urbanization in India which poses huge challenges to the cities requiring comprehensive development of infrastructure and services. As such, urban areas are expected to house 40 % of India’s population and contribute to 75% of the country’s GDP.

3) What are the objectives of the Smart City mission?

The Smart City Mission aims to promote cities that provide for core infrastructure, decent living conditions, clean and sustainable environment and application of smart solutions. The mission eventually hopes to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City, to create similar smart cities in other regions and parts of India.

4) What are the features of cities that have applied smart solutions for development?

The smart solutions include ICT interventions for improving efficiency of basic services, governance and developing infrastructure. Smart cities will foster comprehensive development with features such as:

  • The same land is used for mixed purposes and activities for efficient development of city (such as offices, houses and shops clustered together);
  • housing facilities for all the citizens of the city;
  • creating localities which are conducive for a variety of transport options and last-mile connectivity;
  • Walk-able localities having administrative services within walking or cycling distance;
  • preserving and developing open spaces;
  • making governance citizen-friendly and cost-effective;
  • giving a unique identity to the city based on its main economic activity (such as local cuisine, arts, sports, etc.); and
  • developing infrastructure and services which reflect the aspirations and needs of the citizens.

5) What are the strategies used for area based development under the mission?

The strategic components of area-based development in the mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield model) plus a pan-city initiative in which Smart solutions are applied by harnessing ICT interventions covering larger parts of the city.

6) What is the process of selecting smart cities?

Smart Cities will be selected based on a City Challenge Competition with the aim of financing those cities that have shown the potential to fulfill the mission’s objectives.

  • Stage 1 of the competition will be intra-state where cities in the state compete on the conditions and scoring criteria such as service levels, institutional and financial capacity, past track record and reforms.
  • Stage 2 will be an All India inter-state competition where each of the shortlisted potential cities will prepare smart city proposals (SCPs) for further evaluation by a panel of experts for financing. The proposals are prepared in consultation with city residents and other stakeholders, and will also feature plan for financing and revenue for attracting private participation.

7) How many cities have been selected so far?

In January 2016, based on the All India Competition, 20 smart cities were selected in Round 1. 13 more cities were selected in May 2016 in the fast track round. In Round 2, 27 more Smart cities have been selected in September 2016. In Round 3, 30 more smart cities were announced recently on 23rd June 2017. A total investment of Rs. 1,91,155 Crore has been proposed by the 90 cities under their Smart City mission. To see the list of selected smart cities, please refer to the following sites:

8) Who is responsible for implementing the Smart City Mission?

The implementation of the Smart Cities Mission is done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which will be set up at city level in the form of a limited company under the Companies Act, 2013. After selection, each selected Smart Cities have to set up SPVs and start implementation of their Smart City proposal, preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs), tenders, etc.

9) Who will finance the selected smart cities?

The Smart City Mission will receive financial assistance from the Centre to the extent of Rs. 48,000 Crore over 5 years on an average of Rs. 100 Crore per city per year. An equal amount, on similar basis, will have to be contributed by the State/ULBs. Therefore, Smart cities will have a total fund of almost Rs. 1 lakh Crore. However since this covers only part of the estimated project cost, balance funds are expected to be mobilized by ULBs/States through Public-Private Partnerships, FFC recommendations, municipal bonds, convergence with other Government schemes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, HRIDAY and AMRUT Mission among other avenues.

10) Who monitors the Smart City Mission?

For the purpose of monitoring the project, the MoUD has established an Apex Committee and National Mission Directorate for National-level monitoring and a High Powered Steering Committee for state-level monitoring. At the city level, there shall be a Smart City Advisory Forum headed by the CEO of the SPV and the forum will invite collaboration from citizens and various stakeholders and will include the District Collector, MP, MLA, Mayor, local youths, technical experts and representatives of Associations. [irp]