With eye on deadlines, smart cities mission being tracked on mission mode;  details here – Times of India

The Indian government is intensifying its monitoring efforts of projects under the Smart Cities Mission(SCM), as approximately 21% of the projects are yet to be completed with seven months remaining until the extended deadline of June 2024, according to officials. A government official quoted by ET, who preferred to remain anonymous, stated that detailed reviews are being conducted of 35-50 smart cities every month to address project bottlenecks.
The government aims to complete 1,600 of these projects by the end of March. The remaining 400 projects, which will go beyond March, are being closely monitored in real-time. The official emphasized the use of a robust management information system (MIS) that captures project details. In addition to the MIS, the government is closely monitoring the progress of SCM projects that are lagging behind through regular meetings, both online and offline.

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These projects primarily involve water supply, multi-level car parking, the development of boulevards and smart roads, upgrading sewerage and stormwater drain infrastructure, and constructing new buildings for local markets.
The deadline for project completion was extended to June 2024 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Another contributing factor to the project implementation delay was the lengthy process of selecting the 100 cities involved. Although the mission was launched in June 2015, the selection process for the 100 cities was only completed by 2018, explained the official.
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The Center has chosen 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission, which aims to provide the urban population with essential infrastructure, a clean and sustainable environment, and improved quality of life through smart solutions.
The plan encompasses 8,000 projects to be implemented over a span of five years with an estimated cost of Rs 1.71 lakh crore. So far, the Center has released Rs 42,000 crore for the mission, of which approximately Rs 39,000 crore has been utilized. In the current financial year, Rs 8,000 crore has been allocated to the SCM, with Rs 4,500 crore already expended as of October.

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