Wary of state governments taking political advantage of the Modi government´s flagship Smart City initiative, the Centre has started a branding exercise to own up the mega urban renewal programme.
The urgency to start this exercise stems from the fact that Opposition party-ruled states like Odisha and Uttar Pradesh are moving swiftly on the BJP government´s programme. Of the 20 cities chosen in the first round, Odisha´s capital Bhubaneswar had topped the list. The city was the first to kick-start a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and appoint the chief executive officer to formally launch the programme. Though not even a single UP city could figure in the first list of 20 smart cities, the state has still formed SPVs in 12 cities to develop them as smart cities.