Hailing the inclusion of Dehradun in the latest list of smart cities announced by the Centre today, the Uttarakhand government said it will open up new avenues for the city’s development. “Apart from being a major tourist city, Dehradun’s is on the way to the chardhams. This adds to its significance,” state Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik told reporters here soon after the announcement was made in Delhi. While tourists bound for Mussoorie have to come to Dehradun, pilgrims going to the famous Himalayan shrines usually undertake their journey through Dehradun, he said. So, its inclusion in the list of smart cities will open up new avenues of its development giving further boost to tourism, the minister said.
Dehradun’s inclusion in the list is being seen as a gift from the Centre to the state where the BcJP recorded a landslide victory in the assembly polls earlier this year. Its timing is also significant as the Trivendra Singh Rawat government completes 100 days in office in a couple of days. The Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) had prepared the plan for the project. Former chief minister Harish Rawat had also tried for the inclusion of Dehradun in the Centre’s Smart City list but proposals sent by the MDDA during his tenure were rejected on different grounds.