Gurgaon may make it to smart city list
In what has emerged as a ray of hope for those batting for Gurgaon to be included in the smart city list, Central Urban Development Minister Venkiah Naidu said talks were on for the same.
Naidu, who was in Faridabad on Sunday to attend Modi’s Gati Pragati rally, lauded Haryana for its development and congratulated it for getting two smart cities and one in waiting.
“Though a small state, Haryana has achieved appreciable height in development. With the latest smart city endeavour, Haryana is the proud home to two smart cities— Karnal and Faridabad— and talks are on to include Gurgaon,” said Naidu while addressing the gathering.
It may be noted that after Gurgaon failed to make it to the smart cities list recently released by the Centre; the state government had drawn huge flak for alleged bias against the highest contributor to the state exchequer.
Union Minister and local MP Rao Inderjit Singh had openly expressed his displeasure and written to the Prime Minister to reconsider Gurgaon’s non-inclusion highlighting its importance to the state.
Ever since then the Opposition has been up against him for failing to get the city its due while Rao has been insisting that the selection of smart cities is done in phases and there are chances that Gurgaon may get an opportunity to prove its mettle.
Naidu’s declaration on Sunday has not only endorsed Rao’s claims but have also come as a huge respite for CM Manohar Lal Khattar who has been facing ire from various quarters for choosing his home constituency over Gurgaon despite its merits.
Gurgaon was not included in the list due to poor implementation of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme. which is non-existent here.
Karnal, Faridabad to be given Rs 4 cr each
Karnal and Faridabad will be given Rs 4 crore each — Rs 2 crore by the Centre and Rs 2 crore by the state government — to prepare for the second round of the smart city competition and find place in the top-20 list. A workshop to train officials and public representatives for the second round of the competition was held in Delhi last week under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu. Mayors, Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners also attended the workshop. Karnal Municipal Corporation Commissioner Sumedha Kataria said while the Centre's share was yet to be received, the state government would soon release the money to both cities. She said the amount was being provided for chalking out future strategy and preparing a development plan as per the vision.