GoI agrees to consider Srinagar, Jammu under Smart Cities Mission

SRINAGAR: Government of India has agreed to consider Jammu and Kashmir’s request for inclusion of Srinagar and Jammu cities in the Smart Cities Mission, the administration suggested on Monday.
Governor N N Vohra, according to an official handout issued here, had a detailed discussion with government of India’s minister for urban development, Venkaiah Naidu, during his recent visit to New Delhi regarding the selection of cities under the project.
“Urging Naidu to consider both Jammu and Srinagar cities for being brought under SCM (Smart Cities Mission), the governor had emphasised that J&K is the only state that has two capital cities where more than half the urban population of the state resides while 11-12 million tourists and pilgrims visit these cities every year,” the statement said.
Naidu, it added, pointed out that there was a tie between Srinagar and Jammu cities due to the intra-city competition among the potential cities to be proposed for inclusion in SCM.
In a letter sent on Monday, Vohra thanked Naidu for agreeing to consider his request for inclusion of both Jammu and Srinagar cities in the list of Smart Cities, the handout said.
The government of India had last month announced a list of 20 cities selected for the Rs 48,000-crore flagship Smart Cities Mission. But Jammu and Kashmir had failed to bag the offer
As many as 97 cities were in the initial race for securing funding under the project, after GoI had announced ‘100 smart cities challenge’ on June 25, 2014.
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 proposed four cities—Jammu, Srinagar, Katra, and Anantnag—for the project. Eventually, all four were denied the opportunity to become smart cities.