"By September 1, the list of 100 cities will be announced officially. It is almost ready," Union Minister of Urban Development and Housing M Venkaiah Naidu said today. "Initially, only 20 cities will be taken up on priority. These 20 cities will be selected on certain parameters, which have already been communicated to the 100 cities. Not only 100 cities, those guidelines had been sent to other aspirant cities also," he said.

Naidu was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of 'National Conclave on Smart Technologies' organised by Smart Cities Council India. Explaining further, he said the competition among cities will be in terms of providing better amenities to citizens and administration, including accountability and transparency, based on which ranking would be provided.
The minister cited the implementation of the mission will be done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The SPV will plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate the Smart City development projects.

Each smart city will have a SPV which will be headed by a full time CEO and have nominees of Central and State governments and Urban Local Body on its Board. "Initially, the government will provide Rs 100-crore fund to the SPV and there will be a matching fund from state governments and local bodies," the Union Minister said.

According to minister, the local bodies should be 'bold enough' to take tough decisions such as increasing user fees wherever required. Taking a dig at political parties, he said regardless of party in power, no civic body is willing to increase charges fearing a backlash from the public.

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