While the remarks by Union minister for urban development M Venkaiah Naidu that citizens would have to pay more taxes for being part of smart city has evoked strong reaction from citizens, Congress and NCP would work as watch dog on the smart city scheme when it comes to Pune city.The general body meeting of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), in December 2015, gave its nod for participation in the smart city scheme and Pune stood second in the competition held at the National level after Bhubaneshwar. While BJP has its guardian minister for the district as well as Lok Sabha MP for the Pune city constituency, they would ensure implementation of the scheme. BJP does not have majority in the PMC which would be crucial while implementing the smart city Pune project.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP city unit president Anil Shirole, who is also the Lok Sabha MP for Pune, has expressed happiness over inclusion of Pune city in the list of smart cities and said that he was insisting for the same right from the beginning. Pointing out that he had promised it in his election promises, he said that the city of Pune has vigilant citizens and vigilant society only can achieve the goals in scheme like smart city. He said that smart city is all about improving the city to show the example for other cities when it comes to providing all the services and improving the life of common man in the city. He said that technology would play crucial role and people of Pune have understood importance of being part of this project and that is the reason they have supported it with overwhelming response.NCP city unit president Vandana Chavan said that even though NCP has agreed for the inclusion of city in to the scheme, what government is doing is selecting a small part of the city which is already smart. She pointed out that Balewadi, Aundh and Baner were the areas which have a population of around 40 thousand were selected to become smart cities and Union minister Naidu has revealed, two days back, that citizens would have to pay more taxes which is nothing but cheating people.Chavan said that taxing people of the entire city for providing efficient services to a selected part of city was unjust. She said that they should have selected the challenged areas from any of the slum or Peth (old) areas as pilot for the scheme. She added that NCP would not oppose the scheme as such but wants more transparency and NCP has a demand that PMC commissioner should not be SPV president. Instead, she said that some other officer should handle it since other than making the city smart in a limited areas during the pilot project, the development work is getting hampered for the other parts for last two months.Congress spokesperson MLC Anant Gadgil said that Congress would welcome if something good for the city of Pune is happening but would raise concerns if it is happening for only 40 thousand citizens from areas which are already developed. He said that instead the government should concentrate on old buildings and replicate Mumbai model for redevelopment in Pune. Both Chavan and Gadgil said that merely deploying technology for locating bus routes could not make Pune a smart city.Gadgil pointed out that even chief minister Fadnavis also has indirectly said that people would have to pay more if they want efficient services. He said that Fadnavis has said it indirectly since it can evoke strong reactions.
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