Govt working on concept and contours of ‘Smart Cities’ Scheme: Venkaiah Naidu

States and Union Territories failed to make use of committed central assistance of Rs. 12,397 crore under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM

July 23, 2014 2:10 IST | India Infoline News Service
Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said that the government is working on the concept of ‘Smart City’ and the contours of implementing the project for developing/building 100 such cities. He said so while replying to a question raised by P. Kumar in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour. Naidu further said that all stakeholders will be consulted in the matter and this scheme was discussed at a recent meeting of Urban Development Ministers of States and Union Territories. He said that Parliament would be duly informed of the details of Smart Cities project after their finalization. 

States and Union Territories failed to make use of committed central assistance of Rs.12,397 crore under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). In a written reply to Rattan Lal Kataria, K.C Venugopal and P. Srinivasa Reddy, Naidu furnished details of central assistance under JNNURM which was launched in December, 2005 and closed by the previous government on March 31, 2014. 

Under JNNURM, central government committed itself to provide a total assistance of Rs.46,787 cr to states/UTs for taking up urban infrastructure/development projects. Release of central assistance was linked to implementation of reforms. States/UTs could avail only 73.50% of central assistance forfeiting Rs.12,397 cr. 

Delhi topped the list of under users having failed to avail central assistance of Rs.1,130 crore as against the committed assistance of Rs.2,327 crore under the component for improvement of infrastructure and other projects in 65 identified big cities. This amounted to only 49.00 per cent utilization of the committed central assistance. Other under performers included – Goa with only 25% utilization of central assistance, Bihar (39%), Kerala (39%), Mizoram (44%), Punjab (45%), Jharkhand (48%) and Meghalaya (50%). 

668 Small and medium towns reported better utilization of JNNURM funds with an overall utilization of 76% of central assistance. 

Venkaiah Naidu informed Smt. Poonamben Maadam that Foreign Direct Investment of US$1295.05mn (Rs.7,924.85 cr) as equity had flown into various urban projects in the country during April-2013 – April, 2014. The beneficiary projects included construction of townships, housing, infrastructure development etc., spread across 22 states/Union Territories. Delhi topped the list of recipients of such FDI with an investment of US$565.97mn and followed by Chennai (US$220.84mn), Mumbai (US$177.04mn) and Ahmedabad (US$131.77mn). 

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