None of the cities in Himachal Pradesh has found a place in the first phase of 20 Smart Cities that were selected amid tough competition.
State Minister for Urban Development Sudhir Sharma said that Dharamsala had figured at the 23rd rank in the criteria developed by the Union Ministry for Urban Development for selection of cities.
The Union government has fixed April 30 as the next date for submitting proposals for remaining 80 cities that were selected in top 100 earlier.
His government would try to remove all administrative and legal hurdles to ensure that in the next phase Dharamsala gets selected as Smart City when the process begins on April 30.
He said politicians should shun divisive practices and join together to clinch Smart City status for Himachal cities. Dharamsala’s inclusion had created a lot of controversy with politicians wanting capital city Shimla to be included the Himachal list.
Shimla Mayor moved the Himachal High Court against the selection of Dharamsala in the Smart City scheme. The Court stayed the notification on Dharamsala and asked the government to submit fresh proposals in a transparent manner.
There were protests in Dharamsala against the Shimla-based leaders. They alleged that Kangra residents had never opposed the development schemes being given to Shimla and their opposition to Smart City status for Dharamsala was unwarranted.