Srikakulam, Eluru, Ongole, Nellore, Kurnool, Anantapur Set To Enter Big-Ticket Zone
AMARAVATI: Taking a leaf out of the Centre's book on the Smart Cities Mission, the Chandrababu Naidu government went a step further and decided to turn six municipal towns into smart cities.
The state cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of chief minister Chandrababu Naidu here on Thursday, waved the green flag to transform Srikakulam, Eluru, Ongole, Nellore, Kurnool and Anantapur into smart cities. While municipal elections are due in Ongole and Srikakulam, the other four towns have elected municipal councils.
Sources said the move to upgrade the six urban civic bodies into smart cities was well thought-out to garner central funds. "There is no clarity if the Centre will help the state develop these six smart cities. The central government has its own worries as far as granting funds for the smart cities it has declared across the country," a senior official said.
Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Tirupati have already been selected for the Smart City project of the Union government and funds for development of these cities would be entirely borne by the Centre.
After the cabinet meeting, municipal administration minister P Narayana said that the government had decided to changed the face of six towns.
"There is a dire need for acceleration of urban development in a phased manner and developing six smart cities will serve this purpose," he said. Sources said the government will set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to channelise funds for these new smart cities. "Separate SPVs would be set up for each of the smart cities and funds will be generated for developing them in a systematic manner," the minister said.
With the state government stepping up developmental activities in both Vijayawada and Guntur as part of the capital city development project, almost all the cities in central and south coastal districts have been covered under the Smart Cities programme.