BENGALURU: The state government once again made a pitch for adding Bengaluru to the list of smart cities, the government of India initiative to develop 100 cities with smart solutions for their livelihood.
On Tuesday, Chief Secretary Aravind Jadhav reiterated the Karnataka government stance to the government of India after the review meeting of all GoI sponsored programmes.
“Forget the GoI. If you ask me, Bengaluru deserves to be on the list,” said Jadhav, in front of the GoI officials.
However, GoI representative, Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD)Rajiv Gauba did not react to the statement.
Jadhav admitted the centre gauged the smart city mission on a set of criteria, which failed in Bengaluru but was on track in fulfilling the same.
Earlier, reviewing the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the smart city project in Belagavi and Davangere, Gauba and Jadhav heavily criticised the set up of the SPV.
Jadhav took exception to the statement of the KUIDFC that only IIM graduates will be hired as professionals to be part of the SPVs.
“We need to remove the mindset that only IIM produces good graduates. Why not MBA graduates and only IIM graduates?” he said.
He and Gauba also criticised the proposal of the KUIDFC to send projects above Rs 10 crore to the Empowered Panel, headed by the chief secretary.
“If you keep sending projects above Rs 10 crore to the empowered panel, then the projects will never take off under the smart city concept. The idea is to decentralise and give more powers at the local level,” said Gauba.
Quoting an example of Odisha, where an SPV has been formed for the smart city mission, GoI officials said the SPV has powers to sanction projects of up to Rs 500 crore.
At the other end, 27 cities selected under the Atal Mission For Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) will each showcase an Amrut Lung Space under the scheme.
Identifying the development of the lung space or the park, each of the 27 cities will have a brand Amrut green space every year for the next three years.
The development of the lung space will be either upgrading a large existing park or create new park.
Swacch Bharat mission:
Earlier, the state government sought an increase in the central government assistance for the construction of toilets under the Swacch Bharat Mission.
Via video conference, Deputy Commissioners from various districts made a submission to the Gauba and the GoI that the money which is being given for the construction of each toilet, Rs 5333 (including state government share), is not enough and is generating a lot of resistance from locals.
The state government conveyed to GoI that as much as Rs 14,000 additional burden is being borne by the state in this regard. The total cost of every toilet is placed between Rs 20,000 to Rs 24,000.
Gauba said Karnataka needs to buckle up in the construction of more toilets under the mission, but said the progress so far has been fairly good.
Credits ET Realty