Published On : Thu, Jan 28th, 2016

​Nagpur not there in first list of Smart Cities!

​Nagpur: All the tall claims on Nagpur being prominent in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Smart City project turned out to be lame talks as the city’s name was tellingly missing from the list of first batch of 20 cities announced for the ambitious mission in New Delhi on Thursday.

Nagpur has been on high priority since the project was announced and the city has been anticipated as the fore runner in the mission. This was specially expected as the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hails from Nagpur and also another high profile leader Nitin Gadkari serving as Union Shipping and Transport Minister at the Centre also has his roots in the city. Despite all such influence and centre of power, Nagpur fails miserably in making it to the first list.

Pune and Solapur are the two cities from Maharashtra. This apart even the cities like Jabalpur, Indore and Bhopal from neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh found place in the list, except Nagpur.

Here’s the complete list
1. Bhubaneswar, Odisha
2. Pune, Maharashtra
3. Jaipur, Rajasthan
4. Surat, Gujarat
5. Kochi, Kerala
6. Ahmedabad, Gujarat
7. Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
8. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
9. Solapur, Maharashtra
10. Davangere, Karnataka
11. Indore, Madhya Pradesh
12. NDMC, Delhi
13. Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
14. Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
15. Belgaum, Karnataka
16. Udaipur, Rajasthan
17. Guwahati, Assam
18. Chennai, Tamil Nadu
19. Ludhiana, Punjab
20. Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu informed that the government has set aside Rs 48,000 crore for the project, and that the cities were chosen through a fair competition.

The cities were chosen in a competition between states last year. All states were asked to submit names, which were judged on their service levels, infrastructure and track record. “We introduced competition to pick the best candidates. The competition was as rigorous as the civil services exam,” remarked Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, announcing the names.

The cities will be developed to have basic infrastructure including assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient transport and IT connectivity.

“Nothing was decided in Delhi, nothing was dictated in Delhi,” the minister asserted.

The cities not named today will be asked to get their act together, focus on deficiencies and prepare for Round 2 of the competition. Hopefully Nagpur will get lucky in the second round.