The Smart Cities Mission launched to redevelop 100 cities across the country has completed 47% of projects according to a study by the think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF). The study states that the progress of the mission has been best in the states of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. “Chennai and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Indore, Bhopal and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, and Surat and Rajkot in Gujarat figure repeatedly among the best performers on different criteria,” it added.
Delhi and Nagaland have completed over 70% of their projects.
Seven other states — Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh, have finished 50-60% of the projects.
New Delhi has the highest percentage of completed projects, followed by Chennai, Indore, Surat and Coimbatore.
Rajkot utilised its funds best, followed by Indore, Ujjain, Bhopal and New Town Kolkata.
Puducherry, Amaravati, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, and Shillong are at the bottom of the list.
“The progress has been impeded because of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are also various administrative and financial reasons for the underperformance,” the report said.
The SPVs (special purpose vehicles) set up in some cities to implement the mission are not functioning well due to inadequate managerial, technical, and financial capabilities.
As per the report, there have been seen deficiencies in data handling and its analysis, levels of digitalisation, fund mobilisation, release, and utilisation. Involvement of private partners and effective implementation is very important for the mission to work.
“The slow pace of work in most cities is due to gaps in resource mobilisation. While the Centre and state governments are funding these projects, private investment plays a key role in developing such expensive projects. There is a great need to make sure private partners get on board,” said Rumi Aijaz, a senior fellow at ORF.
Download Money9 App for the latest updates on Personal Finance.