For an additional three months, the centre will wait for Shillong to submit its smart city proposal.

For an additional three months, the centre will wait for Shillong to submit its smart city proposal.

The Meghalayan government had long demanded that the Center adopt a 90:10 ratio to share the cost of investment.

As the Center is unlikely to concede to Meghalaya’s demand for a 90:10 funding pattern instead of the usual 50:50 under the scheme, Shillong’s smart city status is anticipated to be kept on hold for another three to four months until it submits its proposal, according to sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Shillong, the 100th smart city, is expected to submit its project proposal, which the Center is hoping for. Hardeep Puri, the union housing and urban affairs minister, told reporters, “Hopefully someone will give it attention and send across the proposal soon.

Three cities from Uttar Pradesh, Bareilly, Moradabad, and Saharanpur, as well as Bihar Sharif (Bihar), Erode (Tamil Nadu), Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Daman and Diu, Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), and Kavaratti, were among the nine cities that made the list of smart cities in January. The tenth city on the list, Shillong, was unable to submit its proposal.

The Meghalayan government had long demanded that the Center adopt a 90:10 ratio to share the cost of investment (90 percent by the Centre and 10 percent by the state). The Center and the States will each contribute 50% of the funding for the smart city project.

“A new administration has taken office. We are hoping that a high-level ministerial meeting will be called soon. At this meeting, the topic of smart cities is likely to be discussed. We believe that the Centre may finally agree to fund the smart cities mission at a 90:10 ratio, and money will start coming in thick and fast, according to highly placed sources in Shillong.

The Centre, however, has categorically refused to comply with the request. There is a new administration there. We’ll wait for their suggestion. The 90:10 funding ratio for the smart cities mission was desired by all of the northeastern states. We made it clear to all the states that this was not a general plan and that the Center and the state would split the costs of the plan 50:50. There is neither an exception nor will there ever be one. This program does not follow the 90:10 structure of the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) or, for that matter, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, where the distribution of funds follows the 90:10 ratio. We have made it clear to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and all other northeastern states that the funding pattern cannot change from its current configuration. According to ministry sources, “We will give them another opportunity to submit their proposal; if it does not come in within the next three to four months, we will give the slot to the next state.”

In January of this year, the Center released the final list of nine smart cities and left Shillong, the tenth city, out because it was unable to submit its proposal in time due to elections. “We’ve left that one spot open for Shillong. They deliberated submitting a proposal that had been put off because they were preoccupied with the elections. But we anticipate a proposal from them following the elections, Puri had earlier stated.

“In the past, Tamil Nadu’s proposals for smart cities were delayed due to a leadership crisis, but the slots were kept open and they later submitted their proposals. Similarly to this, Pratap Padode, founder and director of the Smart Cities Council of India, predicts Shillong will submit its proposal as soon as the election process is over.

Prime Minister Narender Modi introduced the NDA government’s flagship program in June 2015, and as of now, 99 cities have been chosen. West Bengal, one of the states, has opted not to take part in the competition to select smart cities. There has been no progress on the ground since the state decided to leave the program shortly after the second list, which was announced in September 2016, revealed that only one city from the state, New Town, had been chosen.

As of February 2018, 240 smart city projects totaling Rs. 4438 crores had been finished, and 512 projects totaling Rs. 19,937 crores had work orders.

Vishakapatnam will host the first meeting of the top body of the Smart City Mission on April 21 because it is “one of the smart cities that has shown very good progress,” according to Puri.

The apex committee and the national mission directorate are the two types of national-level monitoring for the smart city mission. The proposals for the Smart Cities Mission are approved, their progress is tracked, and funds are released by an apex committee (AC), which is led by the secretary of the MoUD and is made up of representatives of related ministries and organizations.

Smart cities will have reliable power and water supplies, internet connectivity, e-governance, and high-quality infrastructure. They will also change the way urban Indians live. Based on the scores cities receive for implementing urban reforms in areas like sanitation and governance, smart cities are chosen. The project, which will be implemented over a 10-year period, has been chosen for the cities that received the highest scores.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 100 Smart Cities Mission on June 25, 2015. For the purpose of carrying out the projects it suggests, the Center provides Rs 500 crore to each of the cities under the mission. The corresponding state will match this amount with a grant in the same amount.