Madhya Pradesh changes venue of Smart City in Bhopal

BHOPAL: In what is said to be bowing down to popular sentiments, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday, announced to change the venue of Smart City Project in Bhopal from Shivaji Nagar to North Tatya Tope (TT) Nagar, in the interest of environment conservation.

Decision came a day after the residents of Shivaji and Tulsi Nagar who had protested against developing Smart City in their area saying, there is no need to develop smart city here as the places are already developed as green belt.

The decision was taken during a review meeting conducted on the status of Smart City Project where chief minister Chouhan decided to shift the venue from Shivaji Nagar. "We have considered all possible alternatives while reviewing the project and decided to shift Smart City to North TT Nagar from Shivaji Nagar'', Chouhan said in a statement.

He said the decision was taken respecting the popular opinion and keeping in mind the greenery and beauty of Shivaji and Tulsi Nagar where, civic facilities will further be maximized. "We feel its importance that greenery should be maintained," he added issuing directions to the officials.

The chief minister's decision also reflects the delay caused during the implementation of the project. After the announcement of Smart City in Shivaji Nagar two ministers of Chouhan cabinet, Babulal Gaur and Uma Shankar Gupta had expressed their resentment over bypassing them while taking decision for Smart City Project. Party veterans and former chief ministers Sunderlal Patwa and Kailash Joshi had also expressed their discontent over choosing Shivaji Nagar as Smart City venue.

"Chief minister Chouhan was very considerate as far as demand of the public is concerned. He not only took decision in the interest of public but also showed that citizens are important and environment is government's priority'', said higher education minister Uma Shankar Gupta, who also represents Shivaji Nagar in state assembly.

The decision has also pleased local residents who were up in arms against the government since over a month. The residents had called meetings, held public protests, wrote inland letters under `Modi Se Mann Ki Baat' to lodge their resentment against the Project.

"I am very happy with the decision and will thank the chief minister personally on changing the venue'', reacted former chief secretary and social worker Nirmala Buch, who had taken up the issue before the authorities. She said it was a misconception among officials that changing venue would scuttle the project. "The decision would not only save the green lung of the city but also help North TT Nagar develop as a Smart City'', she added.

After change in the venue, the government has announced to close the open sewerage and conduct massive plantation in Shivaji Nagar. Chief minister Chouhan has also asked the concerning authorities to start necessary preparations for the new site, which covers land measuring 130 hectares for developing residential, commercial projects and civic facilities.

Source: TIMES OF INDIA 16 MAY 2016