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Old Posted May 8, 2017, 8:12 AM
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BolliBatlu BolliBatlu is offline
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Union government seeks expansion plans for smart cities
HYDERABAD: With the Swachh Survekshan 2017 rankings out of the way, states will now have to get down to the task of preparing urban expansion plans for smart cities as directed by the Union government.

The Centre has evolved a new sub-scheme for taking up urban expansion plans with the help of master plans and GIS-based plans for the selected smart cities and all the capital cities. The state governments have to send their proposals by the end of this month and prepare these plans in the next two or three months.

As part of this scheme, states have to raise funds for development plans by adopting the new value framework policy (VFP) that was notified recently by the Centre.

"More than Rs 1 lakh crore is required for the 100 smart cities across the country, but the Centre will give only Rs 100 crore for each selected city over a span of five years. The rest of the funding has to be managed by states through the public private partnership route using various methods mentioned in the VFP. This would mean citizens of smart cities may have to pay more user charges," a highly placed Andhra Pradesh government official told TOI.

State governments will also have to create a local nodal agency for the purpose of implementing these urban expansion plans. Further, the plans will have to be prepared based on local area plans, town planning schemes (TPS), VFP and by creating enabling legal framework where required as well as training and certification of planners in each city.

The Union government has also clearly notified various means of VFP like land value tax, fee for changing land use, betterment levy, development charges, transfer of development rights, premium on relaxation of floor space index ( FSI) and floor area ratio ( FAR), vacant land tax, tax increment financing, among others.

In Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Tirupati have been selected as smart cities, while Hyderabad, Warangal and Karimnagar have made it to the list from Telangana. AP capital Amaravati will also be developed as a smart city but with the help of the UK government.

Sources said that except for Amaravati, the Union government does not have GIS plans for any of the smart cities proposed in AP and Telangana. States will also have to constitute Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), which AP has already floated for Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Tirupati.
Hope mega cities are not involved in expansion plan.
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