Chandigarh admin must bear 50% cost of smart city project
In a major blow to the Chandigarh administration, the ministry of housing and urban affairs, Government of India has turned down the UT administration’s plea to give them full grant for the “Smart City Project” launched by the central government and asked the administration to bear half of the project cost.
Since, Rs 1,000 crore have to be spent on the smart city project for five years, now Chandigarh administration will have to pay Rs 500 crore from its own kitty, which means that UT will have to cut down the money from its routine or special works or projects.
Sources in the Chandigarh administration revealed that Punjab governor and UT administrator, V P Singh Badnore had written to the ministry of housing and urban affairs a few months back saying that since Chandigarh has no legislature and is dependent on the central government as far as finance and budget is concerned, UT should get the money from the central government for smart city project.
Now, in a detailed reply to the UT, Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, said that when the project of smart city was conceived, it was understood that both centre and city will share the equal finances for the project.
“The reply is quite disappointing, as it will directly affect our financial position, because we will have to cut down the money for our works. Though, there is no immediate need of money for the smart city, but now, it will be crucial to see that from which segment of the UT’s budget, the money for the project will be withdrawn”, said a senior official, dealing with the subject.
Till date, Rs 300 crore have been given for the project. Out of these Rs 200 crore is given by the central government and Rs 100 crore by the UT administration.