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Jalandhar MC making no efforts for second smart city round

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As the city failed to get a place in the first list of 20 smart cities announced by Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu in January 2016, the civic body seems least interested for inclusion in the second round of the competition.It can be gauged from the fact that officials of the municipal corporation (MC) have not held a single meeting to discuss the agenda for preparations regarding the second round for the past two months.

Requesting anonymity, an official told HT that MC officials were not interested in again investing their time and energy in something that was quite unpredictable.The MC has not held even a single meeting with the consultants for upgrading the smart city proposal. The only meeting that was conducted for smart city second phase was in Chandigarh last month, in which the department of local government gave directions to civic bodies for what was to be done for the upcoming round.

Moreover, the social media campaign of MC has gone off track and the civic body has also not been holding any other activity in the city to promote active participation of citizens. The city missed the smart city bus in the first round with tardy citizen participation also being one of the major reasons.Notably, 23 cities were chosen in the first smart city round.Jalandhar was at 27th position with a score of 53.8 while Amritsar was at 25th position with a score of 54.55. Only Ludhiana from the state was part of the first list.

“If it was supposed to be a competition, the government should not have given leverage to cities that didn’t even perform impressively on the indicators,” said an official.The MC is expected to submit the upgraded smart city proposal in the first week of May.After Naidu announced the first list of smart cities on January 28, some states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar objected that not even a single city from their state had been chosen under the plan.So as to provide an opportunity to those feeling left behind, on the next day, the government announced a fast-track list of 23 cities.However, the development did not go down well with some of the cities who had failed to come in the first 20 by a shortfall of a few points.

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