Chandigarh admn’s application for Smart City status ready

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 28, 2015 11:28 IST

The UT administration has finally prepared and approved its application for claiming the Smart City tag. In the application, which has been compiled by the municipal corporation (MC), the city has scored 82.5 marks out of 100.

The high-powered committee met under the chairmanship of UT adviser Vijay Dev and approved the application. The MC has compiled the entire data considering several parameters. The city has lost marks on basis of several factors, including failure to generate revenue by imposing taxes. The final word from the Centre is expected by August 3.

The administration is now sending the application to the government of India for final decision. Giving details, the sources in the administration said, “We have given ourselves 82.5 marks after self-assessment.”

Five marks have been deducted as there is no system of imposing penalty on the employees who are not delivering services to the citizens in time. A citizen charter has been prepared, but there is no system to impose penalty. The UT has lost five marks as the internal resource generation is poor.

The MC revenue collection from residents is just 30 per cent of the total budgeted revenue of Rs 450 crore. As per the given parameters by the government of India, a city gets 10 out of 10 marks if they have 50 per cent revenue generation from the residents by levying fee or taxes.

The city has lost another five marks in water supply category. The MC fails to recover full maintenance and operation charges from residents.

Confirming the development, UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal said, “We are right on track and the proposal will be forwarded to the Centre within a day. The city has in fact lost due to non-adequate recovery from the city residents for different services being offered. The marks gained are for regular handing of salary to the MC employees and there is regular audit of accounts.”

The UT administration had also sought suggestions from the city residents for the Smart City project. The adviser had pointed out that that the ministry of urban development has advised all states to involve eminent and public-spirited citizens as stakeholders in the Smart City mission.

“We stand a strong chance, but it will get fortified strongly with imposition of property tax on one hand (depicting financial self reliance of the MC) and citizen charter-based penalty on officials (depicting accountable governance) on the other hand, which will be launched soon,” said UT adviser Vijay Dev.

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