Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu asked the winner of first 20 chosen smart cities to start working on the projects by June 25, and also directed them not to misuse the funds allotted for the smart city projects.
Taking a dig on critiques condemning Modi-led NDA government for overlooking cities like Bihar and UP from the selection in the first 20 smart cities, Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t have an Alladin’s jin to get every Indian city transformed into smart city. He rubbished the criticism and denied any alleged political involvement of his government in smart city competition, saying even states ruled under BJP governance were not chosen in the list of 20 smart cities.
Naidu lent emphasize on civic involvement for carrying out smart city mission, saying non-cooperation with the administration will not materialize such mission.
Mr. Naidu also gave clear-cut message regarding the funds allotted for smart cities to the 20 selected cities, saying the money can’t be used otherwise but for smart cities, directing them to work on the smart city projects by June 25. He said execution of smart city projects will be under constant monitoring of government and nothing will go unnoticed regarding monetary uses for the same.
“You got to get your Special Purpose Vehicles quickly in place and get them going about formulation of projects and getting them off the ground. I would like these 20 projects off the ground by June 25 this year, marking the one year of launch of the Smart City Mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Naidu said.
Naidu said smart city competition was held in fair and square manner devoid of any favoritism and discrimination as alleged, adding the competition galvanized spirit of solidarity in political leadership.
“If competition could make political leadership at various levels focus on urban planning and governance, it is a positive outcome since urban governance can no longer be business as usual,” said Naidu.