On the basis of 13 criteria for inclusion in Smart City, which included online grievance redressal system, collection of internally generated revenue, timely payment of salaries to employees, audit of accounts, reforms achieved under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Dharamsala had secured 87.5 points while Shimla lost the race with a score of 85.
Shimla Mayor Sanjay Chauhan has given written objections on the rating before the Chief Secretary. “Our contention is that the scoring should be based on documentary evidence and once the proceedings of the meetings are finalised, we will accordingly take a stand in the court.”
He said he failed to understand the system adopted for calculating the score of the two cities.
A high-level committee meeting held to re-assess the eligibility of Shimla and Dharamsala for being included in the Smart City Scheme of the Union Urban Development Ministry has stuck to the earlier decision of including Dharamsala on the basis of a higher score.
A meeting chaired by Chief Secretary P Mitra undertook the fresh exercise of rating the two cities, based on the 13 criteria for selection in the Smart City Scheme. In the fresh rating undertaken to settle the dispute over Smart City selection, Dharamsala again scored the highest.
The decision to include Dharamsala in the Smart City scheme was challenged in the High Court by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Shimla Municipal Corporation. It was on the court’s directives that the fresh rating was undertaken.
In the earlier rating undertaken on July 29, 2015 Dharamsala had secured 87.5 points while Shimla lost the race with a score of 85. The state level high powered steering committee had undertaken rating of 14 urban local bodies (ULB) who had taken part in the race for Smart City selection. It was based on this score that Dharamsala’s case was sent to the Centre and received the approval.