Call for alternate plan to improve small cities

Modi a salesman, but Smart City not suitable for Shillong

SHILLONG: The Urban and Municipal Affairs Minister, Ronnie Lyngdoh, has called for a different approach to have a livable city instead of the current ‘Smart City project’ of the Centre which is applicable to all the states irrespective of population, economy and other issues.
“Prime Minister Modi is a salesman, but the same concept may not be applicable to all the states in the country,” Lyngdoh told reporters on Thursday when asked about the status of Smart City project for Shillong.
Stating that there should be an alternate plan for states which do not have much resource base, Lyngdoh said small states in the country, including those in the North East, have various constraints like lack of investment from private players unlike other states elsewhere in the country.
“As per the Smart City project, the Centre will provide a maximum of Rs 500 crore whereas the rest will have to be managed by the respective state government,” Lyngdoh said.
According to Lyngdoh, the financial constraints on the part of small states, lack of private investment and negligible consumer base are the hurdles to fulfil the criteria of the ambitious Smart City project.
“Despite the constraints, we will submit our plan for the project to the Centre,” he added.

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