JK misses smart city opportunity due to ineligibility, govt’s indecision

JK misses smart city opportunity due to ineligibility, govt’s indecision

SRINAGAR: The government of India on Thursday announced a list of 20 cities selected for the Rs 48,000-crore flagship Smart Cities project, but the Jammu and Kashmir has failed to bag the offer.
As many as 97 cities were in the initial race for securing funding under the project. The three teams constituted by the GoI to scrutinise the proposals submitted by the states had to complete the evaluation and ranking process by January 16.
The GoI had announced ‘100 smart cities challenge’ on June 25. Jammu and Kashmir has to nominate one city, while Uttar Pradesh had got slots for 13 cities. The distribution was based on the urban population and number of notified cities.
However, Jammu and Kashmir had sought proposed four cities—Jammu, Srinagar, Katra, and Anantnag—for the project. Eventually, all four were denied the opportunity to become a smart city.
“The government of Jammu and Kashmir sought more time to firm up their choice. Though the governor N N Vohra had proposed four, but Katra and Anantnag were dropped as they didn’t fulfil the eligibility criteria,” minister for Urban Development, Venkaiah Naidu, had said earlier this month.
“It was the state government’s call to firm on one city,” Naidu had said.
He had said that the state was yet to finalise the one city that it wanted to nominate for the project.
However, the media reports suggest that Srinagar and Jammu too were dropped from the list, as they failed to meet the eligibility criteria.
“Srinagar could not even make it through Stage 1 of the selection process that included Institutional Systems and Capacities (15 points), Self-financing (30 points) and past track record (30 points),” a media report said.
The 20 cities include Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Dhavangiri, Indore, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal.

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