U’khand CM Rawat politicising the Smart City project: Mayor

  • Neha Pant, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Dec 19, 2015 18:15 IST
The government move to acquire tea estates faced protests from environmentalists. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT photo)

City mayor Vinod Chamoli on Friday alleged that chief minister Harish Rawat was playing “smart politics” on having reportedly indicated that shortlisting of Doon in the first set of urban areas for smart city project depended on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government.

Referring to a recent comment by the CM in which he made a veiled attack on the BJP for trying to take “premature credit” for Dehradun’s inclusion in the smart city list, the mayor, a BJP leader, said that merely sending a smart city proposal to the central government was not enough, and the Congress-led state government needed to put its best foot forward.

“Simply sending the proposal and claiming (that Doon’s selection now depends on the central government) is not enough. The CM seems to be acting on the lines that if Doon’s smart city proposal succeeds then his (Congress) government will take the credit else the onus (of proposal’s failure) will rest with us (BJP),” the mayor said at a press conference here on Friday, accusing Rawat of “politicising a public-oriented scheme”.

Doon has been selected by the union ministry for urban development among one of the 98 urban areas to be developed as smart city which are meant to be self-sustained townships with well-networked infrastructure and information technology. However, it now has to contest with other cities to make it to the first set of 20 cities to be taken up in the first phase of the project.

Doon mayor Vinod Chamoli at a press meet. (Sparsh Ghildiyal/HT photo)

On December 11, the civic body board had given its approval to the smart city proposal prepared by the state government on the condition that at least 50% of the revenue generated after creation of new city will compulsorily be invested on developmental works in the DMC area.

Mayor Chamoli also trained guns on the Congress-led state government for not incorporating the BJP-led Dehradun Municipal Corporation in the special purpose vehicle (SPV), a separate body created to execute the smart city project. “The urban local body is at the heart of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji’s smart city concept. But the Uttarakhand government has comfortably excluded us from the key execution body,” the mayor said.

The state government has decided to develop a ‘greenfield area’ or a satellite city for which it has decided to acquire 350 acres from a tea estate.

Earlier, it intended to acquire the entire tea estate land, which triggered protests, forcing the government to climb down from its stand.

Surendra Kumar, media in charge for CM Harish Rawat, laughed off the mayor’s allegation saying the local BJP leadership should decide whether it wants to support a scheme started by its own party.

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