Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA and Asansol Municipal Corporation Chairman Jitendra Tiwari has written to West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim saying that funds allotted under the Smart city project to the tune of Rs 2000 crore were stopped due to political reasons.
“Being born and brought up as a responsible citizen of Asansol and performing the responsibilities of the Urban Local Body of this city as a Chairman, Mayor & Administrator from past several years I am very grieved to state you that our city was chosen by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India under Smart City Mission Project which if would have been allowed by you our city could have received funds amounting 2000 crores which would be very crucial for development of our city," he said in the letter.
“Asansol was chosen under this project as a result of tremendous work effort of Councilors and entire team of AMC leading to being qualified as a city to be chosen under this but due to political reasons we were not allowed to get the benefits of this project by the State Government,” the letter adds.
“It was instead promised that funds will be made available by the State Government for overall development of this city but it was not done. Similarly under Solid Waste Management project Asansol City could have received another 1500 crores fund by the Central Government like several other cities in our country but you and your department have not allowed us to get the benefits of these Central Government Funds due to which I feel that injustice has been made to the city of Asansol,” it further read.
The letter also states that several project reports under Asansol Municipal Corporation have not been approved by the state urban development department.
The letter ends by saying, “Therefore with lot of pain I am writing you this letter requesting you to kindly allow Asansol Municipal Corporation to get benefits being provided by Central Government or State Government provide equivalent funds for development of our beloved city Asansol as a rectification of ill deeds on your part towards Asansol.”
In response to the letter, the urban development minister has said, “I don’t know why he has written the letter. Jitendra Tiwari was the Mayor for a long time and I have gone to his ward many times. He has never spoken about this to me. The Smart City scheme he is talking about which is Rs 2000 crore is a false campaign. If an amount of Rs 100 crore is supposed to come under the Smart City is never given. The state government has to give an equal amount. There are three smart cities (in West Bengal), we have to give equal amounts for all and the money from the Centre never comes on time."
The Bengal Minister goes on to add that the State Assembly will make all cities as smart cities.
“I don’t know why he said this, he did not take my calls. If he does, I will tell him to understand the entire situation before commenting,” added the Bengal Minister.