MP Pratap Simha raises issue in Lok Sabha; questions probability of a second list
Mysore/Mysuru: The Heritage City of Mysuru missing out on the ambitious Smart City project of the Centre figured in the Lok Sabha yesterday as Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha raised a question on the proposal of any possibilities of bringing out a second list of cities to be included under Smart Cities Mission and if at all Mysuru has a chance.
Raising the issue in the Question Hour, the MP urged the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri to include Mysuru in the Mission as the city had missed out an opportunity of development while seven other cities in Karnataka like Bengaluru, Tumakuru, Belagavi, Shivamogga, Davanagere, Hubballi-Dharwad and Mangaluru were seeing large-scale development.
“Mysuru missed out despite being eligible to be a Smart City and reap the benefits. I will not blame anyone but we have to own up the blame of not fully utilising the 80 percent of JnNURM funds. Moreover, the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) has failed to do a local audit from 2007 and this deprived us of a slot under Smart Cities Mission,” Pratap Simha said.
The other cities of Karnataka that were included in the Smart City Mission are seeing unprecedented development with over 817 projects in the process of being completed. “These works will change the face of the cities. Mysuru city deserves to be included in Smart Cities for being ranked number one in the Clean Cities survey. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get funds under Smart City and want to know whether there would be a second list of smart cities,” the MP questioned.
Replying to Pratap Simha, Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “The Smart City is a unique programme that has been implemented in the country for the first time. It was conceived soon after the Narendra Modi Government took office in May 2014 and it was announced in June 2015. The idea was to use technology in order to introduce ease of living and inclusive and sustainable development.”
“Mysuru was not included because there was a system to be followed to select cities. The process of selecting the 100 Smart Cities was not a selection process ordained by the Central Government. In fact, a system of competitive bidding was announced and all cities that wished to compete for inclusion in the Smart City project were invited to submit specific proposals which they would implement over a five-year period,” Puri said.
Out of Rs. 1,721 crore released for Smart Cities in Karnataka, Rs. 1,563 crore has been utilised, said Puri. Will there be a follow up to the 100 Smart Cities is something we will need to see, he added.