Ta­ble smart city plan again: Cong

Asks for res­o­lu­tion to be passed at gen­eral body meet­ing with amend­ments of pro­vi­sions

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

The rul­ing NCP has been dealt yet an­other blow.

This time by its al­liance part­ner, the Congress, which has de­manded that the Cen­tre’s smart city project that the NCP had re­jected, be tabled once again in the gen­eral body of NMMC. It has asked for the res­o­lu­tion to be passed with amend­ments of pro­vi­sions that have been op­posed.

The Congress had main­tained a stoic si­lence on the is­sue since De­cem­ber 8, when the res­o­lu­tion was re­jected in the NMMC gen­eral body meet­ing. As an al­liance part­ner, it had even voted along­side the NCP for its re­jec­tion. Pri­vately, though, it had made it clear that it was not okay with the de­ci­sion.

Cong ress Navi Mum­bai pres­i­dent Dashrath Bha­gat said, “The smart city project is worth Rs8,000 crore and hence it would not have been right to sup­port or op­pose it in a haste. We have over the past few days stud­ied the pro­posal and pro­posed works in de­tail and de­cided on our po­si­tion.”

B h a g at said, “There is no doubt that Navi Mum­bai has to be­come a first- grade city. The pro­posal should be brought back to the gen­eral body. How­ever, we will en­sure that the bur­den of loans is not heaped on the mu­nic­i­pal cor- po­ra­tion.”

He added, “We also will not al­low the pow­ers of the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the civic body t o be usurped. There should be clar­ity on how the Rs8,000 crore funds will come and how they will be spent. The pro­posal should also state the funds that will come from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment and state gov­ern­ment and how the rest of the funds will be sourced, be­sides how will es­ca­la­tion in costs be taken care of.”

B h a g at said, “We w a n t de­tails of which fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions will be in­volved and if new taxes will be im­posed. Will the spe­cial pur­pose vehi- cle (SPV) do all the work in the project?”

“The SPV should be headed by the mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner and the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives should be in­cluded in it,” said Bha­gat.

Bha­gat added that the smart city pro­posal copy should be given to all the cor­po­ra­tors. Once it i s pre­sented once again in the house, it should be ap­proved along with the sug­ges­tions of the cor­po­ra­tors.

“We need t o acce pt and im­ple­ment the project in the in­ter­est of the city, tak­ing care that the demo­cratic sys­tem is not in any way harmed,” said Bha­gat.

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