The river Ganga in Varanasi
The river Ganga in Varanasi | ANI Photo
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New Delhi: With some of the 100 selected Smart Cities lagging behind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi will guide Amritsar and Ahmedabad will help Chandigarh in implementing projects under the mission.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has paired up 20 best performing cities with the 20 bottom cities and they will work as “sister cities”.

Ahmedabad (1st rank), Nagpur, Tiruppur, Ranchi, Bhopal, Surat, Kanpur, Indore, Visakhapatnam, Vellore, Vadodara, Nashik, Agra, Varanasi, Davanagere, Kota, Pune, Udaipur, Dehradun and Amravati are the 20 best performing cities, according to internal rankings.

An official said that under the 20-20 formula, Ranchi and Pune will team up with Shimla and Dharamsala respectively, and share ideas with them to improve their performance.

The ministry has issued an advisory for the same and asked the 20 best performing cities and the 20 bottom cities to sign an MoU before February 20.

According to the official, cities have been paired up with those from a similar region and culture.

He said that for instance, Varanasi, a holy city, has been paired up with another holy city Amritsar which need to improve its performance under the mission.

Smart Cities Mission, launched in 2015, is aimed at ensuring all-round developments of a city which has advanced facilities for its citizens.

Visakhapatnam and Surat will help Diu and Sharanpur improve their performance respectively, while Bhopal will share its ideas with Mizoram’s capital city Aizawl.

“The pair of sister cities will have to sign an MoU before February 20 to ensure expeditious execution of projects and report compliance to the Smart Cities Mission Directorate,” the official said.

“Sister cities” will undertake a 100-day challenge from the day of its announcement to enhance the ranks and performance of the bottom 20 cities.

Under the mission, 100 selected smart cities have identified 5151 projects worth Rs 2,05,018 crore to be executed.

Also read: Smart city technologies can tackle India’s urban explosion. But key questions must be asked


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