Nagpur, Feb 1: The Opposition Congress has lashed out at BJP-led Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) for its "utter" failure to get the 'Orange city' in the Centre's first list for the Smart City project.
"Nagpur was among the top ten cities in the nation in every manner under Congress rule. Unfortunately, the city has now slipped to the 256th place in 'Swachh Bharat' rankings," Congress leader in the NMC, Vikas Thakre said here yesterday.
Blaming the BJP-led ruling alliance at NMC "for degrading the city's position", Thakre said, "It (BJP) has failed to control the administration and irregularities in its nine-year rule".
Thakre, who is also the president of Nagpur City and District Congress Committee demanded that city mayor Pravin Datke and Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar should reveal the reasons to the tax payers, on why Nagpur failed to make it to the first list of the cities announced under the 'Smart City' project.
He ridiculed NMC for its announcement that it would participate again in the 'Smart City' contest in the next fiscal.
"The Opposition Congress had extended all support to the BJP-led ruling alliance for gaining a place in the list. Nagpurians (Nagpur citizens) have been greatly disappointed when cities like Solapur, Guwahati, Jabalpur can make it to 20 city-list, why not Nagpur," Thakre questioned.
"Presentation before the Centre should not be an issue since it was prepared by spending crores on consultants. (The) BJP hyped the Smart City project too much. It would have taken credit if it had been selected for the project. Therefore, now BJP and (the) mayor should come before public and general body to reveal reasons and take responsibility for insulting the city," he added.
BJP and Shiv Sena share power in the Nagpur civic body. "BJP is in power at the Centre and state. Still the Centre has not selected the city in top 20, which proves BJP's failure at NMC," the Congress leader said.
Thakre also hinted that Maharashtra and city BJP might put pressure on the Centre and get into Smart City list in next fiscal when the Municipal Corporation elections are around in early 2017.
Bhubaneswar emerged on top among 20 cities, including Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bhopal, that have been selected as part of the first batch of the Smart City initiative for which the NDMC area of Delhi has also made the grade.
The announcement was made by the Centre on January 28.