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KCR defends Hyderabad’s removal from ‘Smart Cities’ list

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Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has strongly defended the decision of his government to remove Hyderabad from the list of Smart Cities.

In a letter written to Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday, KCR said that Hyderabad should be developed as A-1 city by allocating more funds. He said that the Central Government was providing only Rs. 100 crore annual for the development of Smart Cities. Therefore, instead of Hyderabad, the State Government has recommended inclusion of Karimnagar in the list.

The Chief Minister said Hyderabad is a vast city with a geographical area spread across 625 sq km. He said that the GHMC needs Rs. 15,000 crore for drinking water and drainage facilities. Therefore, Rs. 100 crore funds under ‘Smart Cities’ project would be insufficient. He said that almost 50 per cent families in GHMC have no access to proper drainage system.

KCR reminded that the Central Government had constituted Dr. Ahluwali Committee in 2011 to study the civic needs in Hyderabad and it had recommended allocation of Rs. 30,370 crore for city’s overall development. The annual budget of GHMC itself is of Rs. 5500 crore. Therefore, mere Rs. 100 crore under ‘Smart Cities’ project was quite insufficient. He said that the city needs at least Rs. 20,681 crore for Strategic Road Development Project to ensure signal free junctions and better roads.

The Chief Minister said that the Centre should provide more funds to develop Hyderabad as A-1 City. He said that the population of Karimnagar has crossed 3 lakh and therefore, it should be included in the list of Smart Cities. (INN)