India 20 September 2016:
 In an exclusive press conference organised by the Ministry of Urban Development, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, the cabinet minister for Urban Development announced the third set from the 98 listed regions which are to be developed as Smart Cities under the Smart Cities Mission. The competition at this platform is tough as all the regions are being picked on a strict numbering basis where they have to pass through a lot of parameters and being marked for the same. Basis these marks, the top ones are selected for list to be announced. Compared to the previous of counts of 20 in the first list and 13 in the second list, the count was very high this time, making it to 27 inclusions in the current list. The current list notably features 5 regions from Maharashtra, 4 from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, 3 from Uttar Pradesh, 2 each from Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh along with 1 each from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Sikkim and Nagaland. With the list now totalling to 60 regions, the proposed investment has risen to INR 1,44,742 Crore. 

Industry Reactions

1. Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd.

The complete list of 98 cities boasts of some of the most strategically located regions in the entire country. Due to unorganised developments, proper attention could not be given to these regions even though they carried huge potential. Now with the government at centre recognising the importance of developing these regions and bringing them at par with the prominent Tier 1 cities, the Smart Cities Mission will hold key. Several key regions such as Agra, Kanpur and Gwalior have made inroads through this list and which in turn will help create a ripple effect in their neighbouring regions reaping the fruits of development. 

2. Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing

With more and more regions being added to the list of regions being selected to be developed as Smart Cities, a lot of planning and execution will be witnessed in the upcoming 3 – 5 years. This will mean a lot of infrastructural developments in these regions which in turn will provide space for employment and economy revival. As has already been disclosed, a total of INR 48,000 Crores would be pumped through the central government during the course of the entire project along with the respective state governments adding their contributions. 

3. Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI-Western U.P. & Director, Gulshan Homz.

With the list now reaching up to 60 from the shortlisted 98 regions, it sets the tone right straight from the central government which was always doubted to perform on the much hyped Smart Cities Mission. This accompanied with the mission of Housing for All by 2022 is sure to do wonders for the real estate sector of the country. Major developments would also be seen on infrastructural fronts which will mean a completely changed landscape of the country. 

4. Vikas Bhasin, MD, Saya Group

The declared cities in future will be well equipped with basic infrastructure, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity and e-governance mechanisms. The standards of living will be enhanced drastically which will promote sustainable development as well. The government must now work diligently for upbringing of the private sector through important decisions in the Union Budget such as, Industry Status, Single window clearance and execution of RERA for the realty sector.