According to recent news reported by The Indian Express, the Central Government of India has approved funds to the of Rs 14,124 crore for 464 projects in eight cities in the Northeastern region that have been selected as Smart Cities, with the Brahmaputra Riverfront development project alone costing Rs 826 crore.
The eight cities of the Northeastern region selected as Smart Cities are: Guwahati (Assam), Imphal (Manipur), Agartala (Tripura), Kohima (Nagaland), Aizawl (Mizoram), Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Gangtok and Namchi (both Sikkim). While no city from Meghalaya was chosen for the Smart City list, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has been pressing the Centre for also including Itanagar for the Smart City project. The ministry of urban development provides an assistance of Rs 500 crore per Smart City over a period of five years.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of state (independent charge) for housing and urban affairs, said:
24 of the 464 projects costing Rs 3706.05 crore – which have been identified as “impactful” – have been taken up expeditiously. These 24 “impactful projects”, which include the Brahmaputra Riverfront development project, also includes the Kohima Ropeway project which would cost Rs 409 crore.
He also informed that 12 towns of the Northeast have been included in the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation of Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
The purpose of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is to (i) ensure that every household has access to a tap with assured supply of water and a sewerage connection; (ii) increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks); and (iii) reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling). All these outcomes are valued by citizens, particularly women, and indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in the form of Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs).