There are critics who oppose Smart City as irrelevant in the Indian condition. Whenever a new concept is being considered, there is always a lobby opposing it.
A group of Madhya Pradesh social activists allege that the concept of Smart City is aimed at grabbing land and selling it at profit.
People who attended a recent ‘Jan-Samawad’ (public hearing) programme at Gandhi Bhavan in Bhopal quoted Additional Commissioner of Bhopal Municipal Corporation Sanjay Kumar as saying that the present Detailed Project Report of Smart City aimed to spend Rs 30 billion and would earn a whooping Rs 60 billion.
A senior journalist LS Herdenia said, “The concept of Smart City cannot be realised on the ground level until or unless the crisis of basic amenities is redressed.”
There should be roads, proper sewage system, drinking water facilities and education for all. Common man should be the base of Smart City where the focus should be on education, employment and ideal environment for all.
Former Chief Secretary Nirmla Buch said, “Everyman should be made aware about the Smart City and should equally express his or her opinion about it. Their voices would be raised before the government so that Bhopal would be transformed into a perfect city ensuring basic facilities for all.”
Former Bhopal Collector Moti Singh, said, “Huge funds should not be spent for redevelopment of only a particular area of the city.”
Dayaram Namdev, a trustee of Gandhi Bhavan, said, “Smart City should be developed on the Gandhian thoughts where small and cottage industries are promoted. Mass exodus from village to urban areas should be discouraged.”
BMC Additional Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said, “Our main focus is to boost economy of the state capital. Cultural, educational and medical hubs would be given top priority in the Smart City. There is a provision of enough parking space. Parks would be conserved. There is also a provision of metro train routes and Bhopal Road Transport Service corridors in the Smart City. The focus will mainly be on boosting economy of the state capital.