People protest but CM has no regrets
Chief Minister Harish Rawat has no regret over Dehradun being left out of the first list of 20 cities selected as part of the first batch of the Smart City initiative.
Harish Rawat, while addressing mediapersons here today, categorically ruled out any politics on part of the NDA government on the issue.
He said none of the 20 cities selected had a green field-based smart city project like Dehradun, and thus he was hopeful that Dehradun would be included in the next list of smart cities.
He said questions were being raised over Dehradun being taken up as green field project rather than retrofitting and redevelopment process. “But retrofitting mainly involves sewer and drinking water arrangements on which we have already made huge investments. Similarly, in case of redevelopment, re-construction is largely involved which is not practical in case of Dehradun,”said Chief Minister Harish Rawat.
He said the green field-based smart city project was most ideal for Dehradun.
He said a major part of the investments proposed for the Dehradun smart city would be spent in old Dehradun and other towns in the hill state.
Jugran flays state govt
Statehood agitator Ravindra Jugran said the state government was more interested in taking over a tea estate land in Dehradun rather than understanding the concept of the smart city.
“This is the reason that the Dehradun smart city project stood at the 97th position,” he added.
Dehradun’s non-inclusion shows Centre’s bias: Cong
Congress activists, under the aegis of the Mahanagar Congress Committee, staged a protest at the Chandracharya square in Haridwar on Friday against the non-inclusion of Dehradun in the list of top 20 smart cities. The protesters said it was unfortunate that Dehradun had not been included in the list despite fulfilling the criteria laid down by the Centre in this regard.
They alleged that it was a decision inspired by political considerations which reflected the NDA government’s malice towards the Congress-ruled state.
Mahanagar Congress president Anshul Shri Kunj said the NDA government had been neglecting Uttarakhand. “The state is always ignored when it comes to sanctioning central grants, projects and schemes as it is being ruled by the Congress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi often refers to strengthening Centre-state relationship. However, when it comes to implement the same, the NDA government backtracks,” said Shri Kunj.
Doon ‘ignored’ by Centre
Activists of the Mahila Congress burnt an effigy of the NDA government at the Jhoola Ghar in Mussoorie on Friday against the non-inclusion of Dehradun in the first list of smart cities. The protesters, led by Jasvir Kaur, raised slogans against the Centre for ignoring Dehradun. Jasvir Kaur demanded the resignation of all five MPs from Uttarakhand for their alleged failure to get Dehradun included in the list. She said it was unfortunate that the MPs were now tight-lipped on the issue.
AAP is happy
Anoop Nautiyal, leader, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said the Union Government had refused to develop Dehradun as a smart city as the residents had protested the project on tea estate land. Nautiyal, addressing a press conference in Dehradun on Friday, said the residents’ voice was heard after a series of protests and the proposed smart city project was rejected by the Centre.