Aurangabad Smart City Project

Aurangabad is the only city from the Marathwada region selected for the project. Altogether 98 cities from across the country have found a place in the list declared by Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu. Names of two other cities will be announced later. Under the project, these cities would be developed for providing world-class infrastructure, sustainable environment and smart solutions.

As per the central government's guidelines, the cities with smart solutions on 21 different areas including e-governance and citizen services, along with waste, water, energy and urban management among other similar fields were shortlisted for the project.

Besides Aurangabad, other cities from the state in the Centre's list include Navi Mumbai, Nashik, Thane, Greater Mumbai, Amravati, Solapur, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombivli and Pune.

The Centre has earmarked Rs 48,000 crore for the development of 100 smart cities. The municipal corporation, along with other selected civic bodies, would get Rs 2 crore each to prepare for the smart city project. In the first year, the government has proposed to give Rs 200 crore to every selected city to create a higher initial corpus.

However, the Centre's funds and matching contribution from the state government will meet only part of the project cost. The balance funds are expected to be mobilised from collection of users' fees, beneficiary charges and impact fees, land monetisation, debts, loans, etc.

The civic bodies can also generate funds by way of additional resources transferred due to acceptance of the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.

The local body can adopt innovative finance mechanism such as municipal bonds, pooled finance mechanism and tax increment financing. It may also raise funds through borrowings from financial institutions, including bilateral and multilateral. The local body is also expected to encourage private sector for developing civic amenities under the public private partnership model.

Recently, the municipal authorities gave a presentation on its various schemes including the Rs 792-crore water distribution project, to stake its claim for the smart city project. Moreover, municipal commissioner Prakash Mahajan has also asked all the heads of the departments in the civic body to add value to the project by highlighting other proposed projects on health, education and affordable housing for the urban poor.

Now, the civic body will have to submit a smart city proposal on urban governance and annual performance to the government within three months.