Smart Cities Mission anti-poor, has failed: Congress

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The Congress on Friday said the Narendra Modi government’s Smart Cities Mission has failed as the urban poor have been neglected under the scheme and almost 80 per cent of the money is being utilised only for developing 2.7 per cent of the dedicated area.

“Two years back, the government had started the Smart City Mission and AMRUT scheme for urban development. They converted our (UPA’s) JNNURM scheme to start AMRUT. This policy of theirs is anti urban-poor. It has nothing for the urban poor,” said Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken.

“Under Smart Cities Mission, they have chosen 59 cities, in which Rs 1,31,000 crore of projects has been sanctioned. Out of this, Rs. 1,05,000 crore projects, which is at least 80 per cent, caters to only 2.7 per cent of the whole area in those cities,” he added.

Maken further said: “Even the cities have been chosen in an erroneous manner and it will cater to only the posh areas of the cities.”

About the the national capital, he said: “When they selected cities, they didn’t choose North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation or South Delhi Municipal Corporation but areas under New Delhi Municipal Council, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu live. They have neglected those areas where the poor live.”

Congress also said that the city-wise implementation status of Smart City Mission and Amrut Mission is not mentioned on the government’s website.

“During UPA’s time, under JNNURM, we built 12,39,000 houses in eight years, as against theirs (NDA’s) 1,02,000 houses in three years,” said Maken.

–IANS

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