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 Extending the Smart Cities Mission in India

Updated: Dec 17, 2023


The Smart Cities Mission is a program by the Government of India to develop sustainable and citizen-friendly cities. The mission was launched in 2015 and has been a landmark initiative aimed at transforming urban areas into smarter, more efficient, and technologically advanced cities. As of July 2023, significant progress has been made, and the mission's timeline has been extended to ensure the completion of pending projects. Here's an overview of the key aspects of this extension:

What is the Smart Cities Mission (SCM)?

  • India looked at successful examples of smart city initiatives from around the world. Cities like Singapore, Barcelona, and Dubai were often cited for their innovative approaches to urban planning, technology integration, and sustainable development.

  • These cities were selected through a competitive process between January 2016 and June 2018.

  • As of July 7, 2023, a total of 7,978 projects have been initiated across 100 Smart Cities.

  • Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davangere, Indore, New Delhi, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana, Bhopal where few cities which are completed.

  • Impressively, 74% of these projects (5,909) have already been completed.

  • ₹73,454 crore has been allocated for the 100 Smart Cities.

  • Of this allocation, ₹66,023 crore (approximately 90%) has been utilized.

What are the technological components of Smart Cities?

  • The heart of Smart Cities is the establishment of Integrated Control & Command Centers (ICCCs). These centres harness technology to provide data-centric solutions and improve municipal services.

  • Various cities have also undertaken projects related to Traffic Management Systems for smart roads, upgrading sports stadiums with energy-efficient technologies, and redeveloping market areas into smart spaces with features like digital signage, Wi-Fi zones, and mobile payment systems for enhanced experiences.

Why was the Smart Cities Mission extended?

  • Initially, the first phase of the mission was expected to be completed by June 2021.

  • However, due to various factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, an extension was granted to complete pending projects.

  • Delays primarily occurred as cities had to form Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and meet other prerequisites, and the pandemic disrupted timelines.

What is the scope of ongoing projects under SCM?

  • Infrastructure development projects in 53 Smart Cities include multi-modal transport hubs, multi-level car parking facilities, bike-sharing initiatives, and more.

  • These projects collectively represent an investment of ₹15,006 crore.

What is the allocated budget for the mission in 2023-24?

  • ₹8,000 crore has been allocated for the Smart Cities Mission in the financial year 2023-24.

  • Officials expressed confidence that this budgetary allocation is sufficient to complete the sanctioned projects.

What is the status of smart mobility projects under SCM?

  • 1,104 smart mobility projects, totalling ₹22,785 crores, have been completed so far.

  • An additional 526 projects are in advanced stages of development.

How have public spaces been improved in Smart Cities?

  • 984 public spaces have been developed in Smart Cities, at a cost of ₹5,861 crore.

  • Work is ongoing to develop an additional 343 public spaces, enhancing urban aesthetics and quality of life. Initiatives prioritize sustainable practices, energy efficiency, and green infrastructure, promoting a harmonious coexistence of technology and environmental responsibility.


The Smart Cities Mission in India has seen substantial progress and development. With an extended timeline and the allocation of adequate budgets, the mission is on track to achieve its objectives by June 2024. The focus on technological integration, public space enhancement, and smart mobility projects highlights India's commitment to creating modern, efficient urban centres for its citizens.

Relevant questions:

  1. How do Smart City Mission (SCM) initiatives address challenges, particularly regarding their targeted urban population segments and inclusivity in agenda formulation for maximum societal benefit?

  2. What is the expected impact of the extended timeline on the completion of Smart Cities projects, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?



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