The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has extended the deadline of its Smart Cities Mission by one year from June 2023 to June 2024 to enable all 100 smart cities to not only complete their projects but also document and disseminate the learnings from the mission.

The mission, which was launched in 2015, selected 100 cities through a competitive process from January 2016 to June 2018. The cities were given five years from their selection date to complete the projects they had proposed. In 2021, the ministry decided to make the deadline for all 100 cities till the end of June 2023.

Now, 50 out of the 100 cities have completed 75 per cent of the projects and would be able to complete the remaining works by June 2023. However, as per officials, they would need more time to carry out the documentation, dissemination and institutionalisation of the best practices and innovations created under the mission so they can be replicated in other cities across the country. The ministry had received many requests from cities as well as chief ministers asking for more time to complete the projects.

As of April 30, 2023, the cities had completed 5,700 projects or 72 per cent of the total number of projects and 60 per cent of the total value of the projects. Under the mission, 66 of the cities are small, with less than 1 million population and are implementing two-thirds of the projects. According to sources, over 80 per cent of the projects in the big cities have been completed, while the completion rate for smaller cities stands at 66 per cent. The average pace of completion amounts to 100 projects worth Rs 18.5 billion being done every month, and in most cities, the amount of spending under the mission is higher than their routine budget spending.