Nagpur/New Delhi: At a time when Nagpur is gradually dealt with setback in regard to its aspiration for getting into Smart City project, the city civic body appears to be in the mood of big splurge. At a time when Nagpur once again missed the bus as it did not find place in the fresh list of 13 winners of Fast track Smart City competition held by Urban Development Ministry in New Delhi, the Maharashtra Government has given financial boost to the NMC by providing assistance of Rs 250 crore for the smart city project. The State Government has directed Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to provide Rs 250 crore for the smart city project. NIT will arrange for Rs 50 crore every year for this project.
Waste of resources
Sources said that it would make no sense in making undue provisions when the previous funds allocated for the same failed to bring desired results. It may be mentioned here that Nagpur miserably missed out in the list of 20 cities issued in the first phase too. Then it was announcd by the Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Sinha that the 23 states and union territories which were not represented could take part in the fast-track competition by submitting upgraded smart city proposals of one top ranked city in each state and the UT by April 15.
Failed second attempt
In Jan this year Centre Govt tweaked the method of selecting the next list of 40 Smart Cities by allowing 23 states that got left out in the first round to compete on a fast-track mode as against the earlier plan that the rest 77 cities go in together. Ironically Nagpur could not make this time also whereas Lucknow tops the list this time.
Press Information Bureau also shared the list on its Twitter handle which reads : Here are the 13 winners of Fast Track #SmartCity Competition, just announced by @MVenkaiahNaidu #TransformingIndia
M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs also shared similar list on Twitter.
Smart funding for selected ones
Each city selected in different rounds of competition will be given central assistance of Rs 200 crore in the first year and Rs 100 crore each during the subsequent three financial years. State governments and respective urban local bodies will provide matching funds to the same amount.
Will France really help Nagpur grow?
A team of technical experts from France arrived in Nagpur on Monday, to help Nagpur NMC in making it a Smart City. The team will stay in the city for a week to extend technical help to the local body. The team members will visit
several places including Bharatwada, Nag River etc. However the big question is whether wasting the money and resources would really get Nagpur listed in the Smart City project ? And that too without any substantial progress.
Nagpur Today View
It’s high time both NIT and NMC should wake up from deep slumber and realise that Smart City cannot be built on mere talks and paper works. There need to be something progressive both in letter and spirit. The development of Nagpur Metro will not help much. A lot more is needed to be done but not at the usual crawling pace. In the past too, NMC has bragged a lot about bringing many developments but it remained zero on the actual performance. A substantial step should be taken in the direction and due care should be taken for the implementation rather than just hanging around the papers and wasting funds.
Corruption in the civic body is still a big culprit in the process. That is required to be rooted out completely. Atleast, it is the need of the hour.