The ministry of urban development was submitting a reply on a PIL filed by CEPRD alleging that Smart City Scheme violated fundamental rights of people by handing benefits to just a section of society.
INDORE: The Centre on Monday told the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court that its smart city project aims at comprehensive development, which will improve quality of life, create employment and enhance incomes for all, especially for the poor and the disadvantaged.
The ministry of urban development was submitting a reply on a PIL filed by Centre for Environment Protection Research and Development (CEPRD) alleging that Smart City Scheme violated fundamental rights of people by handing benefits to just a section of society.
Assistant solicitor general Deepal Rawal in the reply tendered before the court stated that the focus in the Smart Cities Mission is on sustainable and inclusive development with idea to look at compact areas, create a replicable model, which will act like a light house to other aspiring areas/cities.
It was also replied that the objective of the Smart Cities Mission is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens. A clean and sustainable environment and application of smart solutions with the purpose to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people area based development will transform existing areas, including slums into better planned ones, thereby improving liveability of the whole city.
The petitioner had alleged that Indore has a population of 32 lakh, and Smart City status will bring about development in areas that are inhabited by only 2 lakh people. What about the rest of the city? This policy is arbitrary and violative of article 14 (Right to Equality).
The Centre in its reply said that substantial funds will be required to implement the Smart City proposal even in the area identified for the purpose. As such implementation of Smart Cities Mission in the entire Municipal areas will be herculean task.
“With this view, the Smart Cities Mission is meant to set examples in the small part of the city that can be replicated both within and outside the area, catalysing the creation of similar smart cities in various regions and parts of the country,” replied the urban development ministry.