Beginners Guide to Smart City Mission !!

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The Smart City Mission was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji with great fanfare on the 25th June 2015 in New Delhi.  Around 100 cities across India were selected to participate in this mission including, Udaipur my hometown.

In this blog, have tried to encapsulate briefly the highlights of this mission.

Why ??

  • Nearly 31% of India’s current population lives in urban areas and contributes 63% of India’s GDP (Census 2011). With increasing urbanization, urban areas are expected to house 40% of India’s population and contribute 75% of India’s GDP by 2030. This requires comprehensive development of physical, institutional, social and economic infrastructure. This initiative looks to address some of the beforehand.

What ??

  • There is no one definition of a Smart City, It means different things to different people. The conceptualization of Smart City, therefore, varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents.

smart city

However, what is definitely the lowest common denominator in each scenarios would be the adequate water and electricity supply, sanitation, efficient public transport, clean environment, affordable housing, e – governance, safety, health and education for all.

Coverage and Duration :

  • First Round:

The Govt of India selected 100 cities across India in consultation with the State Government, to become eligible for the Smart City Mission. The cities were selected according to the set criterion as laid down by the Ministry of Urban Development. This is the first round and for duration of 5 years starting from Financial Year 2015-16. The distribution of Smart City shall be reviewed after 2 years of the implementation of the Mission.

  • Second Round:

The selected cities have to submit their proposals for the participation in the ‘City Challenge’. The Smart City Plan must be made in consultation with the City Residents and other stake Holders. A Smart City Advisory Forum shall be made to advise and enable collaboration amongst local bureaucracy and elected representatives will also include the members of NGOs, Chamber of Commerce, Women Organizations, Civic Bodies.

This is the most important part of the Mission as the funds are allocated only after the proposals are vetted and passed through by a panel that that will have both national and international experts, organizations and institutions. The winners of this round of Challenge will be announced by MoUD. Thereafter, while the winning cities start taking action on making their city smart, those who do not get selected will once again start work on improving their SCPs.


  • The implementation of the Mission at the City level will be done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created for the purpose. The SPV will plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate the Smart City development projects. Funds provided by the Government of India in the Smart Cities Mission to the SPV will be in the form of tied grant and kept in a separate Grant Fund. These funds will be utilized only for their earmarked purposes.

The paid up capital of the SPV would be at least equal to Rs.100 crore with an option to increase it to around up to Rs.384 crore (194 Crores from the Center and the rest from the State / Urbal Local Bodies ) at the option of the SPV.


  • The Smart City Mission will be operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) and the Central Government proposes to give financial support to the Mission to the extent of Rs. 48,000 crores over five years i.e. on an average Rs. 100 crore per city per year. An equal amount, on a matching basis, will have to be contributed by the State/ULB; therefore, nearly Rupees one lakh crore of Government/ULB funds will be available for Smart City’s development.

So effectively over a period of 5 years each city will get around Rs. 1000 Crores ( 50 % of it coming from Center and the balance 50% from the State Govts / ULB) which works out to Rs. 200 crores every year for the forthcoming years. Out of the total funds 93 % will be for project costs, 5 % Administrative and Office Expenses and the balance 2 % for A&OE for Ministry of Urban Development.

For complete guidelines visit :

Send your proposals, get involved, whatever be the funds ensure the city derives maximum benefits and let no one use this to fill his pockets !!

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