Civic body approves Mumbai’s Smart City proposal
The Smart City Proposal (SCP) for the metropolis was today approved by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) with four amendments suggested by the ruling Shiv Sena amid opposition by certain parties.
The proposal was tabled in the general body meeting of BMC for discussion. Congress, NCP and Samajwadi Party opposed the proposal, which was backed by Sena’s ruling ally BJP and the Raj Thackeray-led MNS. The plan will now be sent to the Centre for its approval.
According to SCP mandated by Centre, each potential city has to formulate its own concept, vision, mission and plan (proposal) for a smart city that is appropriate to its local context, resources and levels of ambitions.
“We thank the parties and their group leaders who supported the proposal. They want Mumbai to develop and act as a smart city, which is the need of the hour,” said Manoj Kotak, BJP group leader in the House.
Four corrections/suggestions were made in the plan and they were incorporated, he said.
“Shiv Sena wanted four suggestions, including forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (to implement the plan) and holding Chairmanship of it. They were accepted,” added Kotak.
The go-ahead for the proposal assumes significance as a few days back almost all prominent political parties, including Shiv Sena, had raised objections over it.
Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, in an editorial on Monday, alleged the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be created for the scheme would be like a corporate entity which would encroach on BMC’s powers.
Last week, MNC chief Raj Thackeray had termed the Modi Government’s pet urban development project as a “farce” and “a political tool to deceive people”.
Group leader of NCP in BMC Dhanajay Pisal was not present during the meeting. However, Corporator and party’s senior leader Saeeda Khan termed the idea of Smart City as an “eyewash”.
“I tried to raise my objections in the House, but I was not allowed to speak. In fact, only a few Corporators were allowed to speak, which showed the entire proceeding was managed,” she said.
Khan said the Centre should first explain the definition of a Smart City and its stand on providing round-the-clock water and electricity to its residents.
The Modi Government has announced a plan to set up 100 smart cities across the country. The ambitious project envisages sprucing up the selected cities and provide them smart solutions for efficient use of assets, resources and infrastructure.