No smart cities for J&K; tall claims deflated

SRINAGAR, Sept 21: The tall claims of Jammu and Srinagar to definitely get included in the latest list of smart cities stand busted as the third list announced by the centre has none of the two cities from Jammu and Kashmir in it.

The Union Minister of Urban Development, Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday released the third list of smart cities. There are 27 new cities from 12 states in the new list and there is no mention of J&K in it.

Naidu told reporters in New Delhi that 27 out of the 63 participating cities qualified for this financial year. The cities were put through three rounds of tough competition where they were evaluated on a variety of factors.

The smart cities list includes 5 cities from Maharashtra, 4 each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, 3 from Uttar Pradesh, 2 each from Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Nagaland and Sikkim.

Smart cities list announced by the Centre: Agra, Ajmer, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Gwalior, Hubli-Dharwad, Jalandhar, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Kanpur, Kohima, Kota, Madurai, Mangaluru, Nagpur, Namchi, Nashik, Rourkela, Salem, Shiva-mogga, Thane, Thanjavur, Tirupati, Tumakuru, Ujjain, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vellore.

In May this year, Naidu had announced that both Jammu and Srinagar will be the Smart Cities and have been allowed to take part in the ‘Smart City Challenge’.

“Happy that both Jammu and Srinagar from Jammu and Kashmir have been allowed 2 take part in d #Smart City Challenge for selection of Smart Cities. All d best,” Naidu had tweeted.

Even the state chief minister had also announced in Budget session of the Assembly this year that two smart cities have been sanctioned by the Centre for the State.

Mehbooba while speaking on the Motion of Thanks on Governor’s address in the Legislative Assembly in May had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured her that Jammu and Srinagar will be given smart cities.

“I am happy to announce that two smart cities Jammu and Srinagar have been sanctioned by the Centre and Rs 1 crore each has been released for preparing a detailed project report (DPR).”

Her announcement on the floor of the was challenged by her opponent and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who claimed no smart city had been allotted to the State.

“We have been placed in competition and not selected for smart city,” he had said.

“You do not worry we will get both the smart cities,” Mehbooba had told Abdullah.

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