At a time when most of the states are discussing plans and models to make their cities best under the Smart City Project, the Union Government is yet to make its choice in selection of a city or cities in Jammu and Kashmir. More than a month has passed since the Union Minister of Urban Development, M Venkaiah Naidu, announced the list of 98 Smart Cities excluding any city from Jammu and Kashmir citing reasons that the state had sought more time to decide on its choice between Srinagar and Jammu.
The state government had sought more time sensing regional trouble and had asked the Union Government to declare both Jammu and Srinagar as Smart Cities. The Central Government had accordingly assured that they would find a way out for the sensitive state, but till date it has maintained silence over this prestigious project.
Commissioner Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department J&K, Bipul Pathak said, “The delay in the announcement of the Smart City is because of the Union Government.”
“As both the capital cities of the state qualify the laid down norms for the Smart City Project, we had sent them (Union Urban Development Ministry) a proposal for including both Jammu and Sringar cities in the list of 100 Smart Cities, but despite repeated reminders they have maintained silence on this issue”, Pathak said.
Reliable sources said that it might be possible that no city of JK is announced as Smart City as Jammu and Srinagar don’t fulfil the norms required under the project.
The delay in the announcement has invited widespread criticism from political as well as non-political quarters of Jammu and Kashmir regions.