Uttarakhand to hold opinion poll to revise Smart City proposal

  • Neha Pant, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Feb 26, 2016 15:36 IST
Sundaram said they hope the exercise will garner at least “one lakh votes”. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand government will hold an extensive opinion poll from February 28 to March 15 to ensure maximum public feedback to revise its Smart City proposal, officials said on Thursday. They said they are eying at least “one lakh votes” for the purpose.

Addressing the media at the state secretariat, Smart City nodal officer R Meenakshi Sundaram said that the public feedback exercise will be at the centre of proposal’s revision.

“We appeal to the public to give as much feedback as possible on revising the city’s proposal on www.mygov.in (the Government of India’s portal). It is the people who will identify the problems of the city, based on which we will provide the solution in the proposal,” Sundaram said.

Dehradun has been divided into four zones and besides the revised proposal, the state will also offer six options for people to choose from as a part of the opinion poll.

“These include retrofitting of any of the four zones, the creation of a Greenfield (or satellite) city on the tea garden along with the retrofitting of Zone 4 and also a redevelopment option along with a smart suggestion,” Sundaram said.

Revenue generated from the Greenfield project will be applied for retrofitting of the rest of the three zones, he added.

Dehradun not only failed to make the cut for the first 20 cities to be developed under the initiative, it was ranked last (97th) among all competing cities.

Now, the Uttarakhand capital has been chosen as one of 23 “fast-track cities” which have been asked to submit their revised proposals to the Union ministry of urban development by April 15.

Sundaram added that two agencies — Hyderabad-based Administrative Staff College of India and the United Kingdom government’s Department for International Development — have been appointed as the mentoring and handholding experts for revising the proposal.

In the previous phase, Dehradun smart city’s page on the mygov.in portal received only 76 submissions. Officials claimed that a public feedback exercise was undertaken at the local level prior to sending the original proposal. “However, very little time remained by the time we had to submit the proposal, so we did not meet with much success on that front,” Sundaram said.

Earlier this month, 15 citizens’ organisations and socio-environmental groups came together to launch the ‘Dehradun Declaration’ — a campaign to demand the immediate cancellation of the state government’s plan to build the proposed smart city on the tea garden land. They called for the existing city to be given a facelift under the central government’s urban renewal programme. They had also alleged that the government did not seek their feedback prior to submitting the proposal to the central government.

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