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Gurgaon misses the bus, courtesy official apathy

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune news Service

Gurgaon, July 24

Despite being the biggest revenue grosser in the state, Gurgaon could not make it to the smart city list following political and official apathy.

The team of local MC officials along with those of seven other districts gave a presentation to Chief Secretary DS Dhesi in this context. The city vied for the smart city tag with Karnal, Faridabad, Sonepat, Panipat, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Hisar and Palwal. While the officials were confident of making the mark, it trailed behind Karnal and Faridabad.

“What can be more shocking that despite being one of the most advanced cities of country we are ranked third despite being biggest contributor of revenue to the state coffers. In case any city gets the tag, it will have to pool equivalent funds from the Centre, can Karnal and Faridabad do so?, said local MLA Umesh Aggarwal.

While Karnal got 90 points and Faridabad had 87.5 points, Gurgaon scored only 85 points. The officials claimed that while the slight difference with Faridabd can be attributed to city not qualified for JNURM scheme and dipping property tax, but they had no reason to be placed behind Karnal.

“We are highest revenue generators but adequate funds are never ploughed back for development,” said an official.

BJP seeks Ambala Mayor’s resignation 

Manish Sirhindi

Tribune News Service

Ambala, July 24

The failure of the Ambala Municipal Corporation (AMC) to stake its claim for the smart city tag has snowballed into a major controversy here with the BJP demanding the resignation of Mayor Ramesh Mal.

He has been accused of sabotaging the chances of the city’s inclusion in the list of smart cities. 

Three councillors and eight members of the Ambala Cantonment Board owing allegiance to the BJP today demanded that the Mayor should own moral responsibility for the lapse and step down. 

Jasbir Jassi, a senior BJP corproator, said Mal had contested the MC elections with Congress supported but had joined the Jan Chetna Party later on. The Mayor and Congress councillors had staged a walk out on July 16 during a meeting convened to pass a resolution for the same. The reasons given by them for walking out were flimsy, he alleged. 

Mayor Ramesh Mal denied the charges and said that they had met the AMC Commissioner who told them that the issue would be taken up at the appropriate level. 

Selection process biased: Rohtak Mayor

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, July 24

Rohtak Mayor Renu Dabla has stated that the process adopted for the selection of Haryana districts for the Smart City project was biased and based on political considerations.

Addressing a news conference along with former Congress MLA from Rohtak Bharat Bhushan Batra here last evening, Dabla said at a recent meeting held in this regard, the team representing Karnal was given ample time as compared to those from other districts.

Dabla and Batra asserted that Rohtak was a strong contender for being selected for the Smart City project but Karnal had been given undue precedence for reasons known to the authorities concerned.

Batra said they would not take the discrimination meted out to Rohtak, hometown of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, lying down and oppose it tooth and nail.

“We will seek information from the state authorities under the RTI Act regarding the criteria adopted in selection of districts for the Smart City project. We will also move the High 

Court and even the Supreme Court against the biased approach of the state government,” he maintained.  

Selection as per norms, says CM

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was in Rohtak today, maintained that the process for the selection of smart cities was based on the parameters fixed by the Union Government.

Khattar, who had come to attend a social function at the residence of local BJP leader Pradeep Jain , said the Cabinet expansion had ensured that all regions and communities of the state got due representation.

The CM chose not to comment on his Cabinet colleague Anil Vij’s allegation that the CID was spying Haryana ministers. 


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