June 2017 News

Srinagar, Jammu Declared 'smart Cities'

23 June 2017
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: In a major push for urban infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir, the state's twin capitals Srinagar and Jammu have figured in the list of cities to be developed as 'smart cities.' The announcement was made by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu at New Delhi on the second anniversary of launch of 'Smart Cities Mission' on Friday. Among the 30 cities that made it to the list, Srinagar has bagged the 10th position and Jammu 21st. 'The Government of India today cleared the proposal of developing Srinagar and Jammu as smart cities,' Commissioner-Secretary, Housing and Urban Development department, Hirdesh Kumar told Greater Kashmir over phone from New Delhi. Apart from Hirdesh, Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation Dr Shafqat Khan and his counterpart from Jammu Municipal Corporation, M Raju, were also present in the function. The Smart City Mission-aimed at improving basic urban infrastructure in cities-was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015. Under the program, each city will get Rs 1,000 crore central funding for its comprehensive development and effective delivery of public services. For Srinagar and Jammu, Hirdesh said the state government has submitted proposals seeking Rs 3,600 crore and Rs 3,400 crore funding respectively. 'We will raise the capital for smart cities through three modes: central funding, convergence and participation of private players,' he said. Commissioner SMC Dr Shafqat Khan said the program will give a fillip to infrastructure development in the summer capital. 'It would address all core components of city development like basic facilities, disaster management, sanitation and urban mobility,' he said. Shafqat said the application of smart solutions will improve infrastructure and services in the city. 'We will undertake area-based development in downtown areas under the program,' he said. Initially, the Government of India had announced only one smart city for J&K but the state government recommended both the cities to avoid a controversy over the issue. The Government of India agreed to grant smart city status to both the capitals after chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and her deputy Nirmal Singh vigorously pursued the matter with Union Urban Development Ministry.

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