The union government today selected 98 cities under its ambitious smart cities project to uplift urban infrastructure in the country. The cities, that were picked based on the nominations sent by respective states and union territories emcompass just under a tenth of the country's population.

M Venkaiah Naidu, minister of urban development, said, “A smart city would ensue core infrastructure needed for decent living in urban areas. We are not aiming at making our urban landscape look fanciful and flashy. The prime objective is to enhance the quality of urban life by addressing deficiencies in core infrastructure.”

The state capital which failed to make to the list include Itanagar, Patna, Shimla, Bengaluru, Daman, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Gangtok and Kolkata.

The government had previously said it will pick 100 cities under the project. It said on Thursday that the remaining two cities will be announced in due course of time as Jammu & Kashmir sought more time to make up its choice while additional information was sought from the government of Uttar Pradesh regarding the 13th smart city slot allotted to the state.

As for the modalities, top 20 cities will be picked up in the first round for financing this financial year. And others will have to work on improving their plans to qualify for funding in the second round.

Cities to be selected in the second stage would be provided with central assistance of Rs 200 crore in the first year followed by Rs 100 crore each year during the next three years.

For more details on the proposed initiatives under the project, click here

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