Smart city is distant dream, Funds remain idle after 2 years
The wait for the smart cities is not going to end anytime soon.
India plans to have 100 smart cities by 2022 but of these over 90 cities have not begun to utilise the money given to them.
The central government released Rs 9800 crore since 2015 after approving the Urban Overhaul Project in June 2015. But a major chunk of this grant is lying idle with the state governments even after two years.
Money purposely left unused?
In fact, it has been found that the special purpose vehicle, which was set to execute the smart city project in each city, has invested the money in sweep accounts to earn interest.
Sweep accounts automatically transfer high amount to fixed deposits and others to earn higher interest rates.
It is clear that besides the preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) no other work has started.
Housing ministry to review
After Union ministry took the cognizance of the situation, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley has written to Union housing minister to review completion of smart ity project in various cities.
About smart cities
The budget given to a smart city is to overhaul its public transport system, provide uninterrupted water and power supply, internet, better education, health and e-governance facilities.
The plan envisages contribution of Rs 48,000 crore over five years from the central government. This is to be matched by an equal contribution from the states also.
Under the Smart City Mission, 60 cities were selected till Sept 2016 and another 30 cities were picked in June 2017 to change the way urban India lives.