BJP Govts in state, and Delhi would do well to reward J&K with two smart cities

BJP Govts in state, and Delhi would do well to reward J&K with two smart cities

New Delhi: Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu addresses a press conference in New Delhi, on Aug 27, 2015. (Photo: IANS)Jammu and Kashmir once again failed on the smart city front when none of the cities was nominated by the state government to compete in the smart city project which aims to transform the urban landscape of the country. J&K is one among the 11 capital cities in J&K which have not been nominated in the smart city race.

The dilemma for J&K is that centre has allotted only one smart city for the state, and it is likely to become a tussle between the two regions over which city should get the chance of becoming smart. Both Jammu and Srinagar are backwards as far as infrastructure, institutional mechanism, administration and delivery is concerned. In such a scenario, both the cities need the tag of smartness to convert themselves into smart urban centres which can serve the people not only in Srinagar, and Jammu but numerous satellite towns which are around these two major cities.

Although the state has asked union government to allot two cities under smart city project keeping in view the regional imbalance, and overall backwardness in the state but nothing has happened on that front. Despite Jammu and Kashmir voting BJP to power in the state for the first time the rewards have not come as expected by the people. The AIIMS issue, the smart city project, and now incessant firing by Pakistan has started to alienate the people of the state as they are finding that the state, and the centre have not shown the will and spine to address the problems being faced by people either in Kashmir or in Jammu.

The dilemma is that neither separatist constituency in Kashmir is happy with the present dispensation nor the nationalists in Jammu are satisfied with performance of the rulers. It is important that BJP which is ruling both in the state and the centre finds a way to satisfy the aspirations of the people of the state, particularly Jammu which voted en bloc for the saffron party in the hope of some development, few jobs, and a lot of respect for the people of this region.

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