August 28, 2015 8:15:27 am
Pune is in the list of 98 cities included in the smart cities mission, but the status of Pimpri-Chinchwad remains unclear. Some officials claimed that Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad has been taken as a single entity, but others blamed the state government for failing to pitch for twin township.
In the list of 10 cities selected from Maharashtra for the smart cities project, Pimpri Chinchwad’s name was conspicuous by its absence and cluster cities like Thane, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai were included. The projected population of Pune as per the notification issued by the urban development ministry is 31 lakh which many officials say does not include the population of Pimpri Chinchwad.
Municipal commissioner Rajeev Jadhav claimed that the list released on Thursday was not final and another was expected. “I have spoken to the state government officials and further communication about the matter is expected,” he said.
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Officials said that another list was expected by the beginning of September and they hoped that Pimpri Chinchwad would be included in that list.
Meanwhile the political leadership of Pimpri Chinchwad was also unclear about the matter. Shiv Sena MP from Shrirur Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil said that he has spoken to senior officers of the state government and was waiting for more clarity. “It would be very unfortunate if Pimpri Chinchwad is not been included in the list and I will blame the state government for this,” he said.
Known for its better infrastructure, the exclusion of Pimpri-Chinchwad has created a political storm in the area. Ruling NCP has accused the state government for intentionally sidelining the city in favour of Pune. BJP MLA from Chinchwad Laxman Jagtap blamed the rampant corruption by the NCP in implementing central schemes under the erstwhile Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNRUM). “The ruling NCP’s corruption has reduced the marks of the area. They are to be blamed for this,” he said.
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