Centre May Extend Smart Cities Mission Beyond 2023 Deadline
SMART CITIES

Centre May Extend Smart Cities Mission Beyond 2023 Deadline

The Indian government is contemplating extending the Smart Cities Mission, originally set to conclude in June 2023, due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in 2015, the mission aimed to develop 100 smart cities with enhanced infrastructure and sustainable urban environments. However, progress has been hindered by pandemic-related disruptions, prompting the Centre to consider a new deadline.

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Manoj Joshi has indicated that an extension is likely to ensure the completion of ongoing projects. As of now, approximately 70% of the mission's projects are either completed or nearing completion. The proposed extension would provide additional time for the remaining 30% of projects to be finalised, ensuring that the mission's objectives are fully realised.

The Smart Cities Mission has focused on key areas such as improving urban mobility, ensuring adequate water and power supply, enhancing waste management systems, and promoting digital connectivity. Cities like Bhubaneswar, Pune, and Surat have made significant strides, showcasing the potential of smart city initiatives to transform urban living.

The extension would also allow for a more thorough evaluation of the mission's impact and the incorporation of lessons learned into future urban development policies. This move is seen as crucial for addressing the unique challenges faced by Indian cities, particularly in light of the rapid urbanisation and increasing population pressures.

Government officials emphasise that the extension will not involve additional funding but will rather utilise the existing budget more effectively. The focus will remain on completing the projects to ensure that the benefits of the Smart Cities Mission reach the intended populations, thereby fostering sustainable and inclusive urban growth.

The Indian government is contemplating extending the Smart Cities Mission, originally set to conclude in June 2023, due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in 2015, the mission aimed to develop 100 smart cities with enhanced infrastructure and sustainable urban environments. However, progress has been hindered by pandemic-related disruptions, prompting the Centre to consider a new deadline. Union Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Manoj Joshi has indicated that an extension is likely to ensure the completion of ongoing projects. As of now, approximately 70% of the mission's projects are either completed or nearing completion. The proposed extension would provide additional time for the remaining 30% of projects to be finalised, ensuring that the mission's objectives are fully realised. The Smart Cities Mission has focused on key areas such as improving urban mobility, ensuring adequate water and power supply, enhancing waste management systems, and promoting digital connectivity. Cities like Bhubaneswar, Pune, and Surat have made significant strides, showcasing the potential of smart city initiatives to transform urban living. The extension would also allow for a more thorough evaluation of the mission's impact and the incorporation of lessons learned into future urban development policies. This move is seen as crucial for addressing the unique challenges faced by Indian cities, particularly in light of the rapid urbanisation and increasing population pressures. Government officials emphasise that the extension will not involve additional funding but will rather utilise the existing budget more effectively. The focus will remain on completing the projects to ensure that the benefits of the Smart Cities Mission reach the intended populations, thereby fostering sustainable and inclusive urban growth.

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