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Centre Finds Cuttack ‘Unsmart’ Yet Again

Bhubaneswar: Cuttack, former capital and the second largest city in Odisha, failed to qualify for the third list of 30 cities for financing under the smart city project, announced on Friday by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.

Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala topped the list while Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Rajkot in Gujarat figure bagged second and third spots in the new list.

The latest announcement takes to 90 the number of cities selected for part financing by the Centre under the scheme.

Worth mentioning, the Odisha Government had proposed to the Centre to include five cities under the Smart City Mission. The cities named are Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Cuttack, Berhampur and Sambalpur.

While Bhubaneswar topped the list of cities with a score of 70 per cent during the first round of 'Smart City' list announced by the Centre, Rourkela was included in the next round of selection.

Announcing the new list of smart cities at an event in the national capital, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that 45 cities contested for the 40 available smart city slots but only 30 were selected to ensure their feasibility and workable plans. An investment of Rs 57,393 crore has been proposed under smart city plans.

Other cities that made to the third round of the competition included Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Patna (Bihar), Karimnagar (Telangana) and Muzaffarpur (Bihar).

Under the Smart City Mission, the Centre provides Rs 500 crore to each city over a period of 5 years for implementing various projects.