NEW DELHI (AP) - India has taken its first multibillion-dollar step toward rebuilding its metro areas as so-called smart cities by awarding 20 with funds to solve problems from shoddy sewage treatment to constant power outages and snarled traffic.

NEW DELHI (AP) India has taken its first multibillion-dollar step toward rebuilding its metro areas as so-called smart cities by awarding 20 with funds to solve problems from shoddy sewage treatment to constant power outages and snarled traffic.

The government plans to spend $15 billion on the program in 100 cities over the next five years.

India's urban development minister, Venkaiah Naidu, on Thursday listed the first 20 cities to receive funding, including the capital of New Delhi, the western cities of Pune, Surat, Jaipur and Ahmadabad, as well as six cities in the south including Chennai and Kochi.

The cities were selected based on their proposals after more than 2.5 million Indian citizens weighed in on which urban problems should be solved first.