New Delhi, Jan 28: Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu announced the list of 20 cities that are to be developed as smart cities in the country on Thursday. The cities include Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur and Vishakhapatnam. The list also includes Solapur, Davangere, Indore, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal,  New Delhi Municipal Corporation. Among 97 cities, first 20 winners of the competition were announced.

Talking at the event, Naidu said, “The competition was as rigorous as the civil services exam.” Each state will have at least one Smart City, which, in PM Modi’s words, translates to “very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city”. Naidu also said, “Local body and State have to work hard to upgrade their cities.”

In the coming years, government will announce 40 cities which will be further developed as Smart Cities as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision. As per Modi’s plan, the government will develop 100 smart cities in the country in the next few years.

These cities will be developed with basic infrastructure which will include water, power supply, sanitation and public transport. The facilities will also include efficient urban mobility, IT connectivity, solid waste management, e-governance and citizen participation. (Also Read- Smart Cities: Venkaiah Naidu to announce first list of 20 cities today)

Naidu had earlier stressed on the need for urban development, noting that “it was the need of the hour with ‘Young India’ becoming more and more aspirational”.