Congress party on Wednesday launched an attack against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over their Smart Cities project. In a series of tweets, Congress communications department head Randeep Surjewala called Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Smart City’ project an ‘Unsmart’ scam. He wrote, “Cat’s out of the bag.BJP’s ‘Smart City’ project is an ‘Unsmart’ scam for making money by real estate & tech players.” In reply to his earlier tweet, he posted another tweet saying, “BJP Govt plans to spend 1.05 Lakh Cr by the year 2020 to benefit only 2.7% of the already developed area occupied by the city’s rich. Acche Din?” He further tweeted, “Proves that BJP cares a fig leaf for the urban middle class or poor as it is a Govt of & for the ‘Super Rich’. Discrimination galore!”
The Ministry of Urban Development in its official statement said that the smart cities project is in its first phase where as a part of the “lighthouse projects”, the small areas will be developed which will serve as a replicable model for the rest of the city, according to an Indian Express report.
While talking to Indian Express, Surjewala said, “Creation of urban infrastructure, including access to clean water, electricity, sewage and modern amenities, does not seem to be the goal of the Smart City Project.” He also said that the project should be aimed at improving amenities for the urban poor and the middle class.
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According to the report, data collected from various sources shows that 80 percent of the total fund (Rs 1.31 lakh crore) directed towards PM Narendra Modi-led Central Government’s flagship project- the smart cities project, will flow into well-developed pockets that account for only 2.7 per cent of the cumulative area of cities identified under the initiative.