It is an eclectic mix of cities from across the country which has made its entry into the latest list of 27 new smart cities announced by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday.
Under the Smart City Mission, the government aims to have 100 smart cities by 2022. Sixty have been chosen so far, including 20 in January and 13 in May this year. The remaining will be picked by 2018.
From Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to the picturesque city of Kohima in Nagaland, the selected new smart cities are symbols of country's wide-ranging geographical diversity.
The other cities that are now part of the list are Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Amritsar (Punjab), Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Madurai (Tamil Nadu), Kalyan-Dombivili (Maharashtra), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Nashik (Maharashtra), Mangaluru (Karnataka), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Thane (Maharashtra), Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Rourkela (Odisha), Tumakuru (Karnataka), Kota (Rajasthan), Namchi (Sikkim), Jalandhar (Punjab), Shivamogga (Karnataka), Salem (Tamil Nadu), Hubbali-Dharwad (Karnataka), Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Vadodara (Gujarat), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) and Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu).
Know more about 10 cities out of 27 which have made its entry into the new smart cities list:
The holy city of Varanasi, which is also Prime Minister's Narendra Modi's constituency, is one of the oldest cities of the world. The 3,000 year-old city, famous for its ghats and temples, is all set to become a smart city with its six-pillar plan. The six pillars of the plan are: Suramya (Picturesque), Nirmal (Pure), Surakshit (Safe), Smmunat (Improved), Ekatrit (Integrated) and Sanyojit (Planned).
The coastal city of Karnataka, Mangaluru, will invest Rs 2,000 crore over the next five years as a part of its smart city project proposal. The city, known for its beaches and diverse culture, is planning to develop a solar farm on an island facing the old part.
The residents of Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland, celebrated after their place was included in the smart cities list. Nagaland has got a sanction of Rs 340 crore for improvement of the highway connecting various parts of the state with the beautiful hilly capital of Kohima.
The Golden Temple city of Amritsar in Punjab, a favourite among the tourists from across the globe, topped the list of 27 new smart cities. The city is likely to spend an estimated investment of Rs 3,800 crore to change its infrastructure and basic amenities.
The people of Nagpur, famous for its orange production, heaved a sigh of relief after their city made it to the smart city project list. In the initial period, Nagpur will spend Rs 194 crore to improve its infrastructure. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has suggested area based development in 951 acres of land in Pardi, Bharatwada and Punapur areas of East Nagpur.
The historical city of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh is all set to invest Rs 2,400 crore as part of its smart city project. The city got a jolt after it was declared as the world's second most-polluted city in a World Health Organisation survey recently.
Located in the banks of Palar river, Vellore is a city of forts and tourist spots in Tamil Nadu. Vellore will spend Rs 934.23 crore to become a smart city. The city will focus to give fillip to its educational institutions, heritage sites and tourism spots. The administrators of Vellore want to make the city a model Swachh (clean) city.
Odisha's industrial capital, Rourkela, will spend Rs 200 crore to boost various developmental activities. The city in the coming years will focus on solid waste management plant, integrated sewerage system, boost drinking water and energy availability, ensure better parking, traffic management, introduce electronic surveillance for safety and security and e-governance.
Kota, well-known for training aspiring IITians in hundreds of its coaching institutes, will get Rs 1,000 crore in the next five years under the smart city project. The amount will be utilised for the development of infrastructure.
Tourists flock Namchi in Sikkim to enjoy its natural beauty. Namchi, meaning Sky in Sikkimish language, is planning to become eco-friendly in the coming years. The administrators of Namchi want to promote economic opportunities, improve governance and produce better results for its residents.