BENGALURU: Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu who is eyeing a third term as a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka on Friday showered a special gift to the state by offering a chance to Bengaluru to get into the second list of the Smart city mission.
Addressing a Vikas Parva rally in Bengaluru to mark two years of the NDA government here, Naidu said two days ago he got seven cities including Bengaluru to participate in the next round of smart cities competition. “Karnataka government had not recommended Bengaluru for smart cities project for the second round but I decided to get it included considering the importance of city in the national growth,” he added.
Naidu said Bengaluru will be evaluated in the second stage of the city challenge competition by an apex body in the urban development ministry which will be held in a couple of months.
The urban development ministry had finalised 100 cities for the city-level competition in August 2015 in the first round. Six cities from Karnataka – Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi, Shivamogga, Tumakuru, Davanagere and Mangaluru – were among those which got selected by getting the highest score in the competition.
Bengaluru and Mysuru failed to make it as they had scored less marks in the 13 qualifying parameters set by the ministry, which included the existing service-levels, past track record and reforms, implementation of national urban renewal mission scheme and self-financing capacity of the cities.
Naidu had earlier come under severe criticism for failure on his part to select Bengaluru for the centrally sponsored project as he represents Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha. An enraged chief ministerSiddaramaiah had last year announced that his government will develop Bengaluru and Mysuru as smart cities from the state’s own funds.
This apart, Naidu, who is expected to file his nomination papers on Saturday claimed that he has ensured that a metro station coming up near Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi be named after Bharat Ratna M Visvesvaraya.
He said the NDA government is committed in the overall development of Bengaluru city and it is in the process of releasing huge funds for the development of peripheral ring road, sub-urban trains, Metro and other projects to ease traffic congestion.
Union minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha added that the NDA government will provide assistance to Karnataka government to ensure the traffic problems are completely resolved in Bengaluru.
Credits ET Realty