Getting the smart tag was not all that easy

HT Estates - - NEWS -

Ghazi­abad had an over­all score of 82 points in an as­sess­ment for smart cities con­ducted over 20 dif­fer­ent pa­ram­e­ters. It also stood 138th among 476 cities in the Swachh Bharat rank­ings, fac­tors that helped it score over its neigh­bours in NCR and make the cut.

“Ghazi­abad could make it to the fi­nal list be­cause of its in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment. The city is cur­rently ex­tend­ing the Metro net­work from Dil­shad Gar­den to New Bus Stand and has also started work on build­ing an18- km cy­cle track. The con­cept of mixed land-use al­ready ex­ists in Ghazi­abad. De­vel­op­ing Ghazi­abad as a smart city will en­tail fo­cus­ing on en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, pol­lu­tion con­trol and eco- f riendly projects that will add value to the lives of the res­i­dents,” says Pratap Padode, founder and di­rec­tor, Smart Cities Coun­cil In­dia.

Hav­ing said that, Noida or Greater Noida still stand a chance be­cause 70% of the pa­ram­e­ters (manda­tory for the chal­lenge) have al­ready been achieved by them in the last three decades. The cities boast of bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture, trans­port net­work, and plenty of job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Farid­abad was cho­sen be­cause its mu­nic­i­pal­ity had taken sev­eral steps to gen­eral rev­enues and make the civic agency fi­nan­cially sound. An on­line griev­ance mech­a­nism was in place and so was an e- bul­letin. The rea­son why Farid­abad se­cured sec­ond po­si­tion in the state- level con­test is that the Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion of Farid­abad paid salaries to its em­ploy­ees on June 30. Even 59 em­ploy­ees who re­tired on June 30 have been paid their dues ( amount­ing to ₹ 6 crore), says Padode.

In­ter­est­ingly, Farid­abad was given four projects un­der the JnNURM scheme, out of which three were com­pleted. These in­cluded re­vamp­ing of the sewage sys­tem and sewage treat­ment works, drainage work in old Farid­abad and solid waste man­age­ment project.

The rea­sons why Gur­gaon did not make the cut were mul­ti­plic­ity of au­thor­i­ties and a weak mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion.

Gur­gaon missed the smart city bus due to its civic mess and poor lo­cal gov­er­nance. It lost out on crit­i­cal points as it was not part of the JnNURM scheme.

Kar­nal was cho­sen be­cause it had au­dited bal­ance sheets up­loaded on­line, cit­i­zen en­gage­ment and e-news­let­ter.

In Delhi, NDMC has been se­lected as a smart city. The com­pe­ti­tion was be­tween the south, east and north MCDs and the NDMC. Since EDMC and SDMC did not send their nom­i­na­tions in time, they were not se­lected.

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