Centre’s Smart Cities Mission a mere announcement: SenaUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 00:54 IST
The Shiv Sena on Monday took a jibe at the Centre over its Smart Cities Mission and said if smart cities like Mumbai and Pune are created in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar the population density of the cities in Maharashtra would come down. An editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana said the Narendra Modi-led Central government’s Smart Cities Mission has merely remained an “announcement” after it was launched in 2015.
Referring to Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s statement last month that there was a need to decongest Mumbai, the editorial said that Sena founder Bal Thackeray had cautioned about the rising population in Mumbai and Pune first. It said the Sena patriarch had sought ‘permit’ system in Mumbai, which had kicked up a storm in the Lok Sabha during prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, and added that Bal Thackeray withdrew the demand on the request of BJP leaders to save the Vajpayee government.
“Because of Gadkari, this issue has come to the fore now… Gadkari is of the opinion that smart cities and smart villages like Mumbai should be created in other places. The suggestion is good, but the Modi government has already made an announcement to make 100 smart cities. From those 100, how many have materialised? Smart Cities Mission was announced on June 25, 2015; today in 2020, only 15% of the work has happened. The programme was good, but it only remained an announcement,” the editorial read.
It further stated that around 7-8 lakh migrant labourers left Mumbai during lockdown, while 3-3.5 lakh such labourers from Pune went back to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, etc. “Now these labourers are coming back to Mumbai. Around 1.50 lakh labourers have returned. This is because there is no development in their states. If you create smart cities like Mumbai and Pune in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the population density of Mumbai and Pune will come down naturally. Jobs should be created in those states first. The Centre should focus on states like UP, Bihar Jharkhand and Delhi,” it said.
The editorial added that labourers returning to Mumbai and Pune indicated that hunger prevailed over the threat of Covid-19.