Next set of 27 smart cities to be announced next week, says Venkaiah Naidu - Firstpost

Next set of 27 smart cities to be announced next week, says Venkaiah Naidu

The Centre will announce the next set of 27 cities for financing under the Modi-government flagship Smart City Mission next week, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

Representational image: Reuters

Representational image: Reuters

"I am happy to tell you that 20 cities were announced in the first and another 13 in the supplementary round. Now, I am going to announce another 27 cities in the next week," Naidu said while addressing the 12th Indo-US Economic Summit here. So far, the government has announced 33 cities that will be developed as 'smart cities' which would have facilities such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity and e-governance, among others.

The Modi-government aims to transform about 100 cities by 2019-20, with the Union government providing financial support of Rs 48,000 crore over five years. Meanwhile, Naidu said the challenges before the government is to overcome the "deficits" that it has "inherited" from the UPA dispensation in "quickest possible time". "Every government inherits certain legacy from the previous one. What we have inherited was a bag load of deficits -fiscal, revenue, trade, current account and governance deficits and above all, trust deficit.

"The challenge before our governments is to overcome in the quickest possible time, these deficits," he said, adding that the government has taken up "this serious challenge in right earnest".

"I take this opportunity to assure you all that these challenges will certainly be met and the country will triumph," he said. Listing out various initiatives the Modi-government like Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, and Start-up India, he called for ideas and innovations for development of the country.

"The need of the hour is 'Ideas, Innovation, Investments and Implementation. From promoting cleanliness to competitive manufacturing, this flow of ideas are a certain way of heralding 'acchhe din'," he said. Naidu, who is also Information and Broadcasting minister said affordable and low cost smartphones have started a "second screen phenomenon" that offers great opportunities for content creators, curators, advertisers, app developers and online streaming companies.

About 41 percent of India's total mobile users are active on social media which offers a good market for Digital Music Industry, he said, adding that successful companies are likely to be those which embrace digital technologies as a complementary part of their overall strategies. He said Indian media landscape consists of over 10,000 newspapers, 830 TV channels, 245 FM channels and about 180 community radio stations.

"There is a huge potential of growth in the regional markets with content consumption by consumers getting more and more localized. As a result of which national broadcasters are venturing into regional space and regional players are striving to strengthen their portfolio by launching niche regional channels," he said.

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