Urban Development Current Affairs
The World Cities Day is observed every year across the world on 31st October to work together for planned and sustainable urban life in the wake of rapid growth of population and problems.
The observance of this day aims to promote international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. The global observation of 2018 World Cities Day was celebrated in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
2018 Sub-theme: ‘Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities’. It aims to highlight importance to support cities to become resilient and develop their capacity to absorb impact of hazards, protect and preserve human life and limit damage to and destruction of public and private assets while continuing to provide infrastructure and services after crisis.
The World Cities Day was established by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution 68/239 in December 2013. This day was constituted in recognition of significance of urban basic services as foundation for overall social and economic development. The general theme of World Cities Day is “Better City, Better Life”, to promote successes of urbanization and address specific challenges resulting from urbanization, while each year different sub-theme is selected to either promote successes of urbanization or to address specific challenges resulting from urbanization. The first World Cities Day is celebrated in Shanghai, China on 31 October 2014 under sub-theme “Leading Urban Transformations”.
Union Minister of Housing and Urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri has announced a new batch of 9 smart cities under Smart City Mission. With the addition of these 9 smart cities in the fourth round, the total cities picked up under Smart City Mission have reached 99.
The nine cities include three from Uttar Pradesh –Moradabad, Bareilly and Saharanpur, Bihar Sharif (Bihar), Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Havelli), Erode (Tamil Nadu), Daman and Diu, Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) and Kavaratti (Lakshadweep). The selected nine cities have proposed an investment of Rs 12,824 crore. This will impact 35.3 lakh persons living in these areas.
The total proposed investment in 99 cities will be to the tune of Rs 2.03 lakh crore. As on January 2018, 189 projects worth Rs. 2237 crore were completed and another 2,948 projects worth Rs. 1.38 lakh crore are in various stages of implementation.
The Smart City Mission is flagship scheme of Union Government that will cover 100 cities and its duration is five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). The focus of mission is on sustainable and inclusive development and set examples which can be replicated in other parts of the city and other cities of the country.
Under the scheme, each city will get Rs.500 crore (Rs. 100 crore per year) from the Centre for implementing various projects. Centre is going to spent Rs. 48,000 crore over five years. States will contribute matching fund of Rs. 48,000 crore from their internal resources or through market borrowing and through private sector.
The selection of the cities was based on scores of cities for carrying out urban reforms in areas including sanitation and governance. Cities that score highest were picked for the project, to be implemented over a 10-year period.
There are 10 core infrastructure elements to be undertaken under Smart City Mission viz. adequate water supply; assured electricity supply; efficient urban mobility and public transport; sanitation, including solid waste management; affordable housing, especially for the poor; robust IT connectivity and digitalization; good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation; sustainable environment; safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly; and health and education.