68 Indian Smart City projects fail to achieve targets

68 Smart City projects have failed to achieve their physical targets under the Smart City Mission as of January 2023, according to a report by a Parliamentary Committee.
PM Narendra Modi at Smart City inauguration in Pune32 Smart Cities have completed more projects than planned, even up to four times more in some cases. The report suggests that the total number of completed Smart City projects could be misleading because it includes the excess projects completed by these 32 performing Smart Cities. If these excess projects are removed, the actual number of Smart City projects completed would be far less than projected as of January 31, 2023.

The report acknowledges the challenges faced by the Smart Cities, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and local challenges related to land and labor. However, it stresses the Ministry’s need to rigorously pursue lagging Smart Cities to ensure that both physical and financial targets are achieved within the extended deadline of June 2023. The Committee also noted that no further extension of time should be granted without a detailed assessment and addressing of reasons for the delay in completing projects.

The report also highlights that 100 Smart Cities have proposed projects worth Rs 2,05,018 crore under the Smart City Mission, out of which 7,821 projects worth Rs 1,81,349 crore have been taken up. So far, 5343 Smart City projects worth Rs 1,00,450 crore have been completed.

The report notes that the Smart City Mission was launched on June 25, 2015, and the stipulated period of five years has been completed since the last round of selection in January 2018. The Ministry has released Rs 36,561 crore out of the overall financial support of Rs 48,000 crore, and 90 percent of the released funds have been utilized by the smart cities across India.

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