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Context: The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has announced extending the deadline for the Smart Cities Mission till June 2024.
- The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has decided to extend the deadline for the Smart Cities Mission till June 2024.
- The decision will give more time to the selected 100 cities to complete their projects and achieve their goals.
- The Minister said that the decision was taken because of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns that affected the implementation of various projects under the mission.
Smart Cities Mission
- The Smart Cities Mission is a flagship initiative of the Government of India that aims to transform urban areas into sustainable, livable and citizen-friendly spaces by leveraging technology and innovation.
- The mission was launched by Prime Minister in 2015.
Present Status of the Mission
- According to the latest data available on the Smart Cities Mission website, out of the total 7870 projects worth Rs. 1,81,045 crores identified by the 100 smart cities, 5627 projects worth Rs. 1,06,385 crores (59%) have been completed and 2243 projects worth Rs. 74,660 crores (41%) are under various stages of implementation as on 10 April 2023.
Achievements of the Mission
- Creation of integrated command and control centres (ICCCs) in 69 cities that enable real-time monitoring and management of various urban services such as traffic, water supply, sanitation, waste management, security, etc.
- Development of smart roads, smart water systems, smart solar systems, smart waste management systems, smart parking systems, etc. in various cities that enhance efficiency, convenience and safety for citizens.
- Promotion of public transport, non-motorised transport and electric mobility through initiatives such as metro rail, bus rapid transit system (BRTS), public bike sharing (PBS), e-rickshaws, e-buses, etc.
- Establishment of social infrastructure such as smart schools, smart health centres, smart libraries, smart museums, etc. that improve access and quality of education, health care and culture for citizens.
- Implementation of innovative solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), blockchain, big data analytics, etc. to address various urban challenges such as air pollution, water scarcity, traffic congestion, etc.
- Encouragement of citizen participation and feedback through platforms such as MyGov.in, SmartNet.in, Smart City App, etc. that enable citizens to share their ideas, suggestions and grievances with the city authorities.
Significance of the Mission
- The Smart Cities Mission is a step towards achieving the vision of Smart India that envisages creating a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
- The mission is also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030.
- The mission has received global recognition and appreciation for its innovative approach and impact on urban development.
- The mission has also fostered collaboration and partnership among various stakeholders such as central government, state governments, urban local bodies (ULBs), private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs), academia, etc.
- The extension of the deadline for the Smart Cities Mission till June 2024 is expected to give new impetus and momentum to the urban transformation process in India. The mission will continue to work towards creating smart cities that are not only engines of growth but also hubs of innovation and happiness for citizens.
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Smart Cities Mission: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/smart-cities-mission-24
Q. The Smart Cities Mission is a visionary initiative by the Government of India to transform urban areas into sustainable and livable spaces. However, the mission also faces several challenges such as lack of funding, coordination, and public participation. How can these challenges be overcome to realize the full potential of the Smart Cities Mission?