While welcoming the Smart City concept, the TS government has informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the allocation of Rs 100 crore for Hyderabad and other metropolis under the initiative was meagre and sought enhancement to Rs 1,000 crore per year. It also requested the Centre to replace Hyderabad in the list of smart cities with Karimnagar city, while introducing a 'Smart Metro” concept with cities like Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. This segment should be allocated Rs 1,000 crore annually.
“The initiative is to be much appreciated. It has addressed a pressing need of the present as well as the future. The chaotic, haphazard and unplanned style of urbanisation that our country has experienced since Independence cannot be allowed to continue and the Smart Cities mission will hopefully create models that can be replicated across the country,” wrote B. Vinod Kumar, TRS Deputy Floor leader in the Lok Sabha to the Prime Minister. Stating that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has sought enhancement of the annual allocation to Rs 1,000 crore to the six cities which represent the North, East, South, West and Centre of the country, he said these cities stand apart from other cities.
“They are each a mini India, with vibrant and diverse populations and bearing rich and proud traditions. They are the captains of urbanisation movement and given their sheer size and complexity, the challenges they face are of a different order. Therefore, to lump them together with the other cities under the Smart Cities mission is to do them injustice. They have special needs and it is a fact that their budgetary requirements are far larger. Rs 100 crore might make a world of difference to a small town but is simply a blip for a metropolis such as Mumbai and Hyderabad,” Mr Kumar wrote.
He also met Union urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and submitted a letter in this regard on behalf of Chief Minister and also M. Dana Kishore, commissioner and director of municipal administration to the ministry of urban development stating that TS government was withdrawing its nomination for GHMC for Smart City and proposed Karimnagar Municipal Corporation in its place.
“Hyderabad municipal budget itself is around Rs 5,500 crore. Rs 100 crore under smart city is insufficient. KCR garu wanted Karimnagar to be included so that the smart city amount could be utilised effectively for it,” he said. Mr Kumar requested the Centre to approve Karimnagar so that the corporation could begin the process of preparing DPRs.