With elections round the corner and the model code of conduct in place, officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation have decided to fine tune the previous Smart City plan and go ahead with an area-based development plan for the trans-Hindon region.
Recently, the officials had planned to revamp the old city area, from where the city spreads out. The area has a heritage value but officials have decided not to renovate it. The Smart City proposal is to be submitted to the Centre by March 31.
Cities from across the country compete for the Smart City status. Selected ones will get funds from the Central government under the scheme for development works.
“Since the election process is on and the model code of conduct in place, holding public meetings and getting online suggestions will not be possible. Also, the activity is time-consuming. In a meeting held in Lucknow on Saturday, it was decided that the area development as per the previous plan should be fine tuned and submitted in the latest proposal,” Sanjay Chauhan, executive engineer of the municipal corporation, said.
Elections are scheduled in the state from February 11 to March 8, in seven phases, for which deployment of the majority of the official machinery is required.
In the previous plan, areas around both Kaushambi and Vaishali metro stations were proposed for development. This time, barring Kaushambi, officials have decided to include other areas near Vasundhara as well.
Vasundhara is also on the proposed metro extension route, from Sector 62 in Noida to Indirapuram, which is further to be extended up to Mohan Nagar.
“The areas around the Vaishali Metro station and the proposed metro extensions near Vasundhara will be included in the proposal. The areas near Kaushambi Metro station will not be included. In all, we are planning to include nearly 1,500 acres and a plan will be prepared, including the proposed metro stations,” he said.
In the first round of the Smart City race in January 2016, the city failed to make it to the list of 20 cities. In the last round in September 2016, Ghaziabad was ranked 53 of the total 63 cities to compete.
From Uttar Pradesh, Agra, Kanpur and Varanasi made it to the list of 27 cities selected for funding under the plan in September. The list was released by the ministry of urban development.
In the meeting at Lucknow, it was also decided that the consultant, used last time, will be retained to prepare the proposal. In September 2016, the officials had roped in a new consultant and a Smart City plan of nearly ₹1,897.7 crore was prepared.