The Ministry of Urban Development will announce 40 cities to be included under the third round of Smart Cities Mission by May, a ministry official told Cogencis today.
"We have received proposals from 45 cities," the official said. "We expect to select 40 out of these. The cities will be expected to meet a certain benchmark on the quality of proposals received in earlier rounds."
The Cabinet had in April 2015 approved 480 bln rupees, which roughly translates to around 1 bln rupees per city per year for five years, under the mission. States have to match this amount and gather additional funds via public-private partnership and convergence from other schemes to fund smart city projects.
The first list of 20 cities had covered only a dozen states and Union Territories. The government had then decided to conduct a 'fast-track competition' to offer an opportunity to the highest ranked city in each of the unrepresented 23 states and Union territories.
In May, the ministry had selected another 13 cities, including Lucknow, Chandigarh, Raipur, Panaji and Faridabad under the competition.
In September, 27 more cities including Varanasi, Tirupati, Nashik, Nagpur, Kanpur, Amritsar and Agra were added to the smart city mission under the second round.
On the progress of the mission, the official said as many as 300 separate tenders have been issued by cities so far.
"While the cities under the second round are showing good progress in execution, those under the fast track round have to catch up," the official said.