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TNT Desk | Shillong | February 22, 2018
As Meghalaya and Nagaland gears up for Assembly elections 2018 on February 27, the last leg of rallies and campaigns are in full swing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a visit to Nagaland and Meghalaya today.
During his visit in the Tuensang district of Nagaland, the PM spoke about the govt's smart city programme.
He said, "Centre will step forward to spend Rs 1,800 crore to develop Kohima as a smart city", while adding, "The eight cities of the Northeastern region selected as Smart Cities are: Guwahati (Assam), Imphal (Manipur), Agartala (Tripura), Kohima (Nagaland), Aizawl (Mizoram), Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Gangtok and Namchi (both Sikkim).".
Places from all Northeast Indian states except Shillong in Meghalaya has been excluded from the list yet again.
As per a report in the Money Control website, the Centre had announced the final list of nine smart cities in January this year and had kept the slot for the tenth city, Shillong, vacant as it could not submit its proposal on time.
"That one slot has been kept vacant for Shillong. There was a certain deliberate decision taken that they submit a proposal that has been delayed because they are busy with elections. But after the elections, we expect a proposal to come from them," union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri told this website.
Meghalaya goes to poll on February 27. However, it may be mentioned that even Nagaland is scheduled to go to polls on the same day. But despite this fact, Kohima's name has been announced by the PM as being selected in the 'smart City' category.
"In the past, Tamil Nadu had its smart cities proposals delayed on account of a leadership crisis, yet the slots had been kept vacant and submitted by them subsequently. In similar vein, it is likely that Shillong would submit its proposal as soon as elections process is completed," says Pratap Padode, founder and director of the Smart Cities Council of India.
The selection of smart cities is based on the scores cities get for carrying out urban reforms in areas, including sanitation and governance. Cities that score the highest will be picked for the project, to be implemented over a 10-year period.
The 100 Smart Cities Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015. Under the mission, the Centre allocates Rs 500 crore to each of the cities for implementing projects proposed by it. This amount is matched with a grant of the same amount by the respective state.
TNT News with inputs from Money control