Smart city: Northeast wants 90:10 ratio in funding

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Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has requested Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu to share the investment in smart city projects for the northeastern states by adopting a 90:10 ratio — 90 per cent by the central government and 10 per cent by the state.

Sarkar met Naidu on Friday in New Delhi and urged him to adopt a separate funding policy for the backward northeastern states, Tripura Urban Development Minister Manik Dey told reporters on Saturday.

The present funding pattern for the smart city project is on a 50:50 basis between the central government and the states.

“The Finance Ministry had issued a circular earlier that the 90:10 ratio norms would be followed in all central government launched projects,” Dey said.

“Naidu remained noncommittal after Sarkar put up the proposal,” Dey said, adding that northeastern states are unable to bear the huge financial burden to implement the smart city projects.

The minister said that other northeastern states have already made similar demands.

Three cities in the northeastern region — Guwahati (Assam), Imphal (Manipur) and Agartala (Tripura), have been selected for the implementation of the ambitious smart city plan so far .

Other cities of northeastern states that participated in the fast-track competition, included Shillong (Meghalaya), Aizawl (Mizoram), Kohima (Nagaland) and Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh).

These cities failed to fulfil the stipulated criteria and can submit their revised smart city plans for evaluation in the third round of competition likely to be held a few months later.

Aiming at the all-round development of the infrastructure of the cities, the Smart City Mission marks a paradigm shift towards overall urban development in the country since it is based on a ‘bottom up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in the formulation of a city vision and smart city plans and the urban local bodies and state governments piloting the mission with little say for the Ministry of Urban Development.

The Tripura Chief Minister also requested the Urban Development Minister to give relaxation in the centre-state funding pattern for northeastern states in the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Swachh Bharat Mission and Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana.

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