Nehru-Gandhi family bastion Rae Bareli misses inclusion in list of 'Smart Cities' project

New Delhi, Aug 27: Rae Bareli, the Nehru-Gandhi family bastion, missed being included in the list of places to be developed as 'Smart Cities' which was released today, thanks to lack of adequate "information" from Uttar Pradesh government.

Under the proposal to develop 100 Smart Cities across the country, respective state governments were to nominate the places as per their quota which depends on the number of 'notified cities' and population of that state.

Smart Cities: Rae Bareli not included

"More information is sought from Uttar Pradesh government about the 13th smart city that is yet to be announced," Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said here today after releasing the list of 98 cities, including 12 from UP.

Rae Bareli is the Nehru-Gandhi family bastion and this constituency is represented by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha. UP, which has been allotted 13 slots in the Smart City project, submitted names of 14 cities.

Two of them - Rae Bareli and Meerut - got equal points in the 'city challenge competition' held in Uttar Pradesh, after which it was for the state government to nominate one of them, sources in the UD Ministry said. The UD Ministry asked the state government to drop either Rae Bareli or Meerut to make it a total of 13 cities.

The UP government agreed to drop Meerut but the Centre asked it to cite reasons for the same, and in the process held back the decision. Similarly, Jammu and Kashmir also missed the bus today as it failed to nominate one city as per its allotted quota.

The state government sent names of Srinagar as well as Jammu for inclusion in the list, even though it could nominate only one, according to UD Ministry. The Centre asked the state to nominate only one, pending which the decision on Jammu and Kashmir was withheld.

"The government of Jammu and Kashmir sought more time to firm up their choice," Naidu said. Asked when the two remaining names from UP and Jammu and Kashmir will be announced, he said "it will be in due course."

About the timeline for developing the Smart Cities, the Minister said, "It's a continuous process. It takes time to develop a smart city. It can't happen in a year or even five years. It will take longer...five years, 10 years to develop a smart city."


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