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Government stretches list of Smart Cities from 100 to 109 (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper II, Topic: Government schemes for development)

Decision of the government to increase number of Smart Cities
As per the Urban Development Policy, only 100 cities are listed to be developed as Smart Cities in the next five years. The ministry, however, has now allowed nine more capitals, including Patna, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Amaravati, Itanagar and Gangtok, to participate in the next round of the competition. 

It has also allowed the governments of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh to nominate two cities each — Jammu and Srinagar, and Rae Bareli and Meerut respectively — in contravention of the rules. 

Criticism:
1. More cities have been included to accommodate political demands. For instance, The Jammu and Kashmir government did not nominate the one city it was entitled to, following the standoff between regional leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for over a year, with both demanding a Smart City. To accommodate conflicting demands now both Jannu and Srinagar have been included.

2. Union Govt. plans to spend Rs. 500 crore on each smart city over a period of 5 years. Government will be required to provide more funds.



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