Current Status of Smart City Projects in India
The Smart city Mission in India was launched in June 2015. Three and half years hence is a good time to consider a midterm status report. A recent article on the current status of smart city projects in India (https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/economy/33-of-5151-smart-city-projects-completed-report-3297981.html) mentioned that only 33 percent of the total 5,151 Smart City Mission projects have been completed or are currently under implementation, utilising around 25 percent of the envisaged investment. According to data presented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to the Lok Sabha referred to in the article around 2,342 projects worth Rs 90,929 crore have been tendered, of which, 1,675 projects worth Rs 51,866 crore are currently being implemented or have been completed. Hence, 3,476 projects have either only been tendered or have not gone through the tendering process. According to the timelines laid out for Smart city projects, it takes around 12-18 months to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV), procure project management consultants (PMC), hire people for implementation of projects, call tenders and issue work orders. For instance, even in advanced states Karnataka which has an allocated fund of Rs 886 crore from the Centre for implementing the Smart Cities Mission the state has so far spent a mere Rs 86.02 crore which is just 9.70% of total release. Seven cities- Belagavi, Davangere, Hubballi-Dharwad, Shivamogga Tumakuru,Mangaluru, and Bengaluru are selected for development under the Smart Cities Mission. An article (https://www.deccanherald.com/state/state-far-behind-using-funds-709889.htm) mentions that out of these 7 cities, Davangere and Belagavi, were the first two cities selected for development of smart cities in January 2016. Since then these two cities have been able to utilise only Rs 14.41 crore and Rs 23.63 crore respectively.