State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim will meet the representatives of municipalities across the state to discuss the green city mission. It should be recalled that the state government has developed its own ‘Green City Project’. The meeting, scheduled on November 29, will be presided by the minister himself.
Bengal government has already avoided the smart city project. The reason behind this is that the state has to spend Rs. 500 crore for the smart city initially and then in the next five years, the Centre will spend another Rs. 500 crore in phases. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, earlier in her speech gave the reason that if state can spend so much then why should Centre get the credit for it?
Now the state would ask all the municipalities to join the Green City project. The minister will convey the message to those municipalities. New Town had qualified for the Centre’s smart city project in the second attempt. Salt Lake, Asansol and Durgapur were the other three places nominated for the same.
Notably, Bengal became the first, and only state so far, to turn down the Smart City Project. New Town, the IT hub of the state, spread over about 7,628 acres and a population of around 36,000, was chosen by the Centre to be developed as a smart city last year. Over five years, Bengal would have required spending as much as Rs 500 crore on the project.
“The minister will probably discuss the various aspect of the green city project with the civic bosses,” said an urban development department source.
However, a Korean company is now interested to invest in the New Town. New Town is going to be developed as the green city where many investors are interested to invest. The Korean company will invest on solar power generation, as the urban development source informed.