Dehradun’s proposal for Smart City plans are caught in the vortex of political controversy. Both the BJP and Aam Admi Party are criticising the proposals of Uttarkhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who is being blamed for playing “smart politics.”
City Mayor Vinod Chamoli, who is a BJP leader, alleged that Chief Minister is trying to take “premature credit” for Dehradun’s inclusion in the Smart City list.
“Simply sending the proposal and claiming (that Doon’s selection now depends on the central government) is not enough. The Chief Minister seems to be acting on the lines that if Doon’s Smart City proposal succeeds, then his (Congress) government will take the credit else the onus (of proposal’s failure) will rest with us (BJP),” the Mayor said charging that Rawat was politicising the issue.
Doon has been selected by the Union Urban Ministry among one of the 98 urban areas to be developed as Smart City which are meant to be self-sustained townships with well-networked infrastructure and information technology.
However, it now has to contest with other cities to make it to the first set of 20 cities to be taken up in the first phase of the project. On Dec 11, the civic body board had given its approval to the Smart City proposal on the condition that at least 50 per cent of the revenue generated after the creation of new city will be invested on developmental works in the DMC area.
In the meanwhile Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leader Anoop Nautiyal termed the concept of Smart City for Dehradun as “smart vinash”(destruction) and challenged the Chief Minister and BJP leaders for an open debate with him on the Smart City issue.
He said the Smart City project would only spell destruction for the region and alleged that both the BJP and the Congress were hand in glove in the act of corruption in the name of Smart City. Apart from snatching livelihood of workers, the Smart City over tea gardens would adversely affect the environment of the region.