Panchkula bats for smart city tag again

  • Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times, Panchkula
  • Updated: Aug 04, 2015 00:25 IST
Panchkula. HT File Photo

As a last-ditch effort, the Panchkula municipal corporation has resent a fresh proposal to the Haryana government to be reconsidered for the smart city project after failing to make a cut in the list of the proposed smart cities in the state. The MC has rectified the mistakes that were committed in the previous proposal submissions.

The government of India had launched last year the concept of building 100 new smart cities in the country, of which two will come up in Haryana. Karnal and Faridabad have already made it to the list with score of 95 points and 87.5 points, respectively, out of a ranking parameter of 100, while Panchkula has scored mere 55 points.

Previous proposal sending process messed up

The civic body had messed up the process of sending the proposal. First, the proposal was sent to the state government without getting it signed by the municipal commissioner and was returned. The proposal was again sent to the government on July 22 after the July 17 deadline lapsed.

The prospect of the city getting into the list of smart cities was done without inclusion of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) schemes that carries 20 points. E-newsletter and budget, which were not uploaded on the website and carried five points each, were also not included. Besides, there was no punitive clause for non-delivery of services offered by the government.

Conforming the development, municipal commissioner Jagdeep Dhanda said they have resent the proposal for reconsideration to the state government. Commenting on the possibility of the state government reconsidering their proposal, Dhanda stated that it is government's prerogative to accept and reject the proposal. "At this point of time, I am not sure about whether government reconsiders the proposal or not," said Dhanda.

Dejected with Panchkula failing to make it to the list of Smart Cities, various bodies had approached local MLA Gian Chand Gupta and member of Parliament Rattan Lal Kataria to push for including Panchkula in the list.

Chairman of the citizen's welfare association (CWA) SK Nayar claimed that they had met Kataria, who had assured them of taking up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

MLA Gian Chand Gupta had blamed Panchkula mayor Upinder Kaur Walia for criminal negligence in losing out in the Smart City competition. He alleged that Walia, due to political ill will, did not call even a single meeting of the MC House to discuss the Smart City project. The mayor had rubbished the allegation stating that she had no role in preparing and sending the proposal.

Why city lost the race

The earlier proposals were submitted without inclusion of:

" Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) schemes that carries 20 points

" E-newsletter and MC budget not uploaded on the website and carried 5 points each

" No punitive clause for non-delivery of services offered by the government and carried 5 points

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