Anna writes to PM Modi, expresses concern over Smart Cities

30 Jun 2016 | Written by Nandita ; Edited by Supriya Kaur

Anna Hazare wrote to Prime Minister Modi questioning his agenda behind the Smart Cities Mission.

Anna made comparisons between the Gandhian philosophy of village-centric development vis-a-vis PM Modi's smart cities project.

He requested PM Modi to place more emphasis on making villages 'self-sufficient units' as focal point of development as it would be beneficial for the whole country.

In context: Anna attacks PM Modi over Smart City

ScopeWhat is the Smart Cities Mission?

The Smart Cities Mission (The Mission), an urban renewal program by the Central government, is aimed at vastly improving the standard of living for citizens by retrofitting, optimizing technology and enabling local development.

The Mission would identify 100 cities over five years based on a 50:50 formula that takes into account urban population of the State/UT and the respective number of towns.

IssuesDownside of the Smart Cities Mission

The major concerns of The Mission are with respect to economic imbalances and inconsistent availability of water, sanitation and electricity.

It's unlikely for all such problems to be solved entirely by merely employing technology; it is also feared that cities could become more expensive.

The Mission is estimated to cost Rs.480 billion in totality hence the government has opted for a Public-Private-Partnership model.

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Lokpal Bill

Anna Hazare, in a letter to PM Modi, noted that despite being in power for two years, the government was yet to appoint Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states. Lokpal bill was introduced in 1968, but was never implemented.

Smart City Mission: Agenda

The Smart City Mission, led by PM Narendra Modi, would allocate central funding to the tune of Rs.48,000 crore to the selected cities. The funds will be used to upgrade infrastructure and service delivery by harnessing technology and implementing e-governance.

May 201633 smart cities under 'The Mission'

The government released a list of 13 cities that will be included in the first phase of The Mission. This is in addition to the 20 urban centres announced in January, making the total 33.

These 33 cities have been earmarked for priority funding under 'The Mission'.

The cumulative proposed investment, via the private sector and government, for these cities is Rs.80,789 crore.

30 Jun 2016Anna writes to PM Modi, expresses concern over Smart Cities

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16 Aug 2016L&T bags contract for Nagpur under Smart Cities Mission

L & T has been granted a contract of Rs.550 crore for Phase 1.

A massive overhaul is being envisaged for Nagpur; this would include Wi-Fi hotspots, interactive kiosks, fibre optic cables and installations of cameras across the city.

This focus on e-governance will enable enforcement agencies to be able to monitor crowd control, parking issues and other governance issues from a control centre.