Shimla enjoys special status: Himachal CM

Shimla, Sep 10 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday said capital city Shimla enjoyed a “special status”, brushing aside concerns over the central government’s decision to develop Dharamsala as a smart city.

“The state government will not spare any effort to develop Shimla,” Singh told reporters here in an informal chat.

Replying to a query on the controversy over the smart city project wherein the central government has included Dharamsala not Shimla, the chief minister said: “Dharamsala must have been selected as per rules. Shimla enjoys more than a smart city status as it is the state capital and was the summer capital of British India”

There has been a row over the choice of the city in Himachal Pradesh for the smart city project as state Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma represents the Dharamsala assembly segment.

The mayor and deputy mayor of Shimla have alleged that data was allegedly fudged to project Dharamsala over Shimla.

The opposition BJP has alleged that the government had failed to plead Shimla’s inclusion in the smart city project.

However, Sharma has clarified that Dharamsala had scored more points than Shimla in the parameters laid down for selection.

He said the state capital lagged behind because the implementation of JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission) was poor.

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