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Nitish asks Centre to include every state capital in smart city initiative

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New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who met Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, on Thursday, suggested that the Centre include all state capitals in its smart city initiative.

Kumar also expressed disappointment over the non-inclusion of any city of his state in the list of 20 cities released by the Centre as part of the first batch of cities to receive funds under the Smart City initiative.

“I met Venkaiah Naidu regarding smart city initiative. They have selected only 20 cities and none of the cities from Bihar are there in the list. Earlier, 100 cities were selected in which three were from Bihar. We have suggested, firstly, that work should begin in all of the 100 cities previously selected. Secondly, every state capital should be made into a smart city, and lastly, Rs. 100 crore for a smart city is not sufficient,” Kumar told reporters here.

Populous states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and Jharkhand have missed the Centre’s Smart City initiative. Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar tops the list of 20 cities as part of the first batch of the Smart City initiative that will attract investment of over Rs 50,000 crore to leap into a modern and dynamic landscape.

The Centre will give each city Rs 500 crore over five years under the Modi Government’s smart city mission. The Centre had pledged to spend Rs 48,000 crores in five years to elevate 100 localities to the status of smart cities.

New Delhi (NDMC area), Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Solapur, Davanagere, Indore, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal are the cities selected in the first batch. (ANI)

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