The NDA government's flagship project got Cabinet's approval last Wednesday, paving the way for the Ministry of Urban Development to work out details for the selection of cities for the project.

"The detailed guidelines of the project, aiming at recasting the urban landscape, is likely to be notified next week after its finalisation," a senior ministry official said.     

After the guidelines are announced, states and UTs will be asked to nominate names of cities for a city challenge competition and the chosen ones will get a central fund of Rs 100 crore each year for 5 years, he added.

The 'Smart City Challenge Competition' will be carried out by Bloomberg Philanthropes, which has been involved in conducting similar competitions in various countries.

According to the plan, 20 cities will be selected this year, followed by 40 each in the next two years.

"Smart City aspirants will be selected through the competition which intends to link financing with their ability to achieve the mission objectives," the official said.      

"The cities will be given scores based on urban reforms that they have carried out, their impact and what they propose to do in four key areas - Swachh Bharat (sanitation), Make in India (ease of doing business), good governance (modern accounting system, rationalisation of property taxes) and e-governance," he added.

While most of the smart cities will be brownfield (old) ventures and will be implemented through an 'area-based' approach including retrofitting and redevelopment, the official said there will also be a few greenfield (new) projects which means setting up of new cities.

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