May 2016 News

Centre Declares Jammu, Srinagar As Smart Cities

24 May 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: Union Minister for Housing and Urban Development Department M Venkaiah Naidu today announced that both Jammu and Srinagar, the rotational capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir, will be the Smart Cities and have been allowed to take part in the 'Smart City Challenge'. This was announced by Naidu during a series of tweets. 'Happy that both Jammu and Srinagar from Jammu and Kashmir have been allowed 2 take part in d *SmartCityChallenge for selection of Smart Cities. All d best,' Naidu tweeted. Official sources told the Excelsior that Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, Incharge Housing and Urban Development Department and Power, met Naidu at Guwahati, Assam this afternoon during oath ceremony of Sarbanand Sonowal as Assam Chief Minister. Naidu told Dr Singh that his Ministry has decided to give two Smart Cities to Jammu and Kashmir including Jammu and Srinagar, a demand the State Government especially Dr Singh was constantly pursuing with the Union Urban Development Ministry, which had earlier allocated only one City to Jammu and Kashmir for development as Smart City while naming 100 Smart Cities across the country. However, sensing AIIMS-like agitation if one of the two capital cities-Jammu or Srinagar-was named by the Government as Smart City, the State Government refused to recommend either of them for inclusion in the list of 100 Smart Cities. The Centre went ahead without naming any of the Cities from Jammu and Kashmir but kept one slot vacant by naming only 99 Smart Cities. In view of continued insistence of the State Government especially Dr Nirmal Singh, who holds Urban Development Ministry, Naidu today formally announced two Smart Cities for Jammu and Kashmir. Dr Nirmal Singh told the Excelsior that both Jammu and Srinagar have been declared as Smart Cities and they would now have to take part in 'Smart City Challenge' like 99 other Cities across the country. 'Shortly, both the Cities would be declared as Smart Cities,' he said. In the first-round, the Centre had cleared development of 20 Smart Cities. Rest of the Smart Cities would be picked-up gradually. The Smart Cities would have automatic traffic signal, better public transport facility, quick accident relief, smart traffic system, data centre, face identification system to catch criminals, control room for crime, health, services and traffic for better coordination to provide quick help to the people besides series of other facilities for which several millions would be spent by the Centre Government. The two Smart Cities were another bonanza of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government to Jammu and Kashmir after two All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), two Cancer Institutes and three Medical Colleges recently apart from number of National Highways and bridges etc. Sources expressed confidence that inclusion of Jammu and Srinagar as Smart Cities would go long way in development of the two cities, which serve as rotational capital cities for six months each.