Government finds gaps in proposals
A panel of experts set up by the Ministry of Urban Development has found several gaps in Smart City proposals from opposition party-ruled states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. These states have missed out from the list…

A panel of experts set up by the Ministry of Urban Development has found several gaps in Smart City proposals from opposition party-ruled states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

These states have missed out from the list of 20 cities selected for the project in January.

While Chief Ministers of these states had accused the Centre of ignoring their cases on political grounds, a report of the panel accessed by Economic Times shows many had given unsubstantiated proposals.

For instance, New Town-Kolkata had a “very ambitious timeline” of March 2017 for drone-based monitoring of civic services and an equally ambitious plan for ICT-enabled single-point citizen delivery system even as its online enabling mechanisms were at the planning stage.

The financial plan of Bihar’s Bhagalpur was “generalised and not backed by any fiscal data” with “more focus on creating new basic infrastructure and less on smartness”.

Himachal’s Dharamsala failed to include the inputs of its floating tourist population, which is about 30 times the permanent population, while only 200 people participated in door-to-door surveys, the report says.

The Centre has given a second chance to the highest scoring cities of the 23 states and union territories whose cities did not feature on the Top 20 list.

These cities are upgrading their plans based on the shortcomings highlighted by the expert panel and indulging in wide citizen consultations before resubmitting their plan to the Centre by April 15.

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