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June 30 deadline to pitch for Smart City funds

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BENGALURU: The deadline for City corporators to send in their Smart City proposals to the Central ministry of urban development is fast approaching its deadline of June 30.

Those who submit viable proposals will be in a race to get a chunk of the Rs 1 lakh crore set apart by the Central government to be utilised for the development of 100 Smart Cities across India.

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BBMP COMMISSIONER N. MANJUNATH PRASAD AND OTHERS AT AN INTERACTIVE SESSION ON SMART CITIES. PHOTO – BEACON BUREAU

BBMP commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad and others at an interactive session on Smart Cities PHOTO – Beacon Bureau

Dr Muralidhar, Nodal Officer for the Smart Cities project, noted that “In Karnataka state, six cities got selected for this competition. In the first challenge, Belagaavi and Davangere were selected among 33 cities are approved in the first phase. In the second, additional opportunity is being given for 11 cities to join the competition and Bengaluru is included.”

He was speaking at an interactive session organised jointly by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and NiSpana organisation on Thursday at Town Hall.

Dr Muralidhar stated that the Smart Cities programme is citizen-centric and not government-centric. Therefore, it is important that the opinion of citizens if collected and integrated into the proposals to further better development of the cities.

“This program is not about blaming someone or the other but it is about gathering suggestions to make the City more beautiful. The public can make their suggestions via Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Email, and a new app designed for the BBMP. “The best vision for Bengaluru as a Smart City will get Rs 1 lakh as a prize amount,” said BBMP commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad.

“The BBMP has 198 wards in Bangalore. The Smart Cities project has a duration of five years and the winning ward stands to get Rs 100 crores each from the Central and State governments every year,” said Dr Muralidhar.

This apart, it was ironic that this programme organised to discuss the Smart Cities programme drew very few corporates and only two MLAs and one MP. Lakshman Gupta, a resident of AGS Layout, said “I got the feeling that the elected leaders have no interest in making Bengaluru a smart city. Development Minister K.J George didn’t turn up either and this perhaps indicates irresponsibility and negligence.”

Veda

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