West Bengal would not be a part of the Centre’s smart city project and instead go for building its cities as green cities, a state minister said.
According to the senior minister, the state government would not apply for the smart city status for Bidhannagar (Salt Lake) City, the deadline of which was August 30.
The state would send an official communication in this regard to the Central government next week, a draft of which is being prepared by the Chief Secretary, he said.
“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… But if we can spend so much then why should they get the credit for it? Now we have decided not to go for the project and do it ourselves,” the minister said.
The Centre in its smart city project was erecting buildings whereas the state government has “plans for a complete city with international standard facilities”, he said.
“We have already done it in New Town. We have built the Eco Park and other show pieces there… We have done everything there in a very planned manner. And our plans to build Green cities is not to bring up buildings but develop an entire city so that we can attract investments there,” he said.
In fact, the state would ask all the municipalities to join the Green City project, he said.
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.
The Smart City Mission is an initiative of the Narendra Modi government to develop 100 satellite towns across the country.