Civic officials confidently face expert panel and push city's claim while giving presentation in Chandigarh
FARIDABAD'S SECOND POSITION IN THE STATE LEVEL CONTEST IS BECAUSE MCF STARTED PREPARING TO GET SMART CITY TAG AS SOON AS THE CONCEPT WAS ANNOUNCED
The industrial township of Faridabad is set to find its name in the list of proposed smart cities as the civic agency tried its best to make a pitch for this old town explaining to the expert committee its present state, future plans and also the past record.
Faridabad is the oldest town in Haryana with about 17 lakh population besides being largest in area.
Two officers of the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad led by its commissioner Ashok Sharma made a presentation before the experts committee comprising Haryana chief secretary Depinder Singh Dhesi, P Raghavendra Rao, additional chief secretary town and country planning, PK Dass, principal secretary finance and planning department, Alok Nigam, principal secretary public health engineering department among others at Chandig arh on Wednesday. A number of officers from Union central ministries were also present. Sources said Karnal got 95% marks whereas Faridabad secured 90% marks. Gurgaon was third with 87.5%marks.
Sources said that among the districts which made the presentation were Faridabad, Gurgaon, Rohtak, Panipat, Yamunanagar, Hissar, Karnal whereas Ambala and Panchkula did not participate.
Sources said Faridabad ad bagged the first place for making ng a presentation about the city. ty. The officers were grilled on all the 13 points, which the Union on urban development ministry has fixed for evaluating performance of the proposed smart cities on almost all fronts. These 13 points carry 100 marks. Haryana has to recommend only two names to the central government by this month end.
Though the rumors flew thick and fast that Faridabad and Karnal had bagged the smart city tag from Haryana, but officials said that they had made their presentations well and the decision about finalization of the smart cities may take few more days.
Sources said the chances of Faridabad bagging “Smart City” tag are bright as the expert panel patiently heard the presentation by the commissioner of Municipal Cor poration, Faridabad and took time as they compared it to the representations from other districts.
“In my presentation I explained to the expert panel that Faridabad is the oldest town in Haryana with about 17 lakh population besides being largest in area,” MCF commissioner Ashok Sharma told HT on phone soon after finishing presentation in Chandigarh.
“I am confident that Faridabad will figure in the list of proposed Smart Cities from Haryana. We explained to the panel the steps taken by us to generate revenue to make the civic agency financially sound,” Sharma said. “I told the panel that the number of tourist outlets and railway stations are higher in Faridabad. Online grievance mechanism has already been put in place. E-bulletin, which was introduced in the month of June was also highlighted,” he added.
However, sources said that the civic officials also received a dressing down on toilet/sanitation and sewer issue front. “We are hopeful that Faridabad will find its place in the proposed Smart Cities from Haryana,” Krishan Pal Gurjar, Faridabad MP and Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment told HT on phone.
The reason why Faridabad secured second position in the state level contest is that Faridabad civic agency MCF started gearing up to get Smart City tag as soon as it this concept of smart city was announced. As one of the criteria was payment of salaries by Urban Local Bodies (ULB) up to last month, the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad paid salaries to its employees on June 30. Even 59 employees who retired on June 30 have been paid their dues that amounted to ` 6 crore. There were other points on which the Nigam started working as soon as the concept was unveiled.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious 100 Smart Cities concept is aimed at providing core infrastructure such as adequate water and assured electricity supply, sanitation, affordable housing, robust IT connectivity, sustainable environment and safety and security to citizens. Under this scheme, the states will have to face stiff competition to get selected and submit a smart city proposal.
It may be mentioned that any city, recommended by the state government/Union territories has to fulfill a number of parameters like existing service/ institutional service( capabilities)/ self financing/ past track record and reforms.
The India Smart Cities challenge is a competition designed to inspire and support municipal officials as they develop smart proposals to improve the lives of residents. One hundred cities will compete in the first round with the best proposals receiving funds from the ministry of urban development.