Include Pimpri Chinchwad in Center’s ambitious Smart City mission.

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Hon'ble PM, Shri. Narendra Modi

Hon'ble CM, Maharashtra State, Shri. Devendra Fadnavis

सदर निवेदन मराठीमध्ये इथे वाचा )

Sir, Pimpri Chinchwad city was excluded in the first round of Smart City List declared by centre recently. We, the citizens of Pimpri Chinchwad are disappointed as Maharashtra’s most deserving city got left out due to administrative lapses. There is no clear information on eligible criterion on which PCMC has missed out. We as the citizens of PCMC feel strongly that unless legitimate information is put in public domain by the concerned authorities, it is but obvious that rumours of all kinds would prevail leading to chaos and confusions,not to mention political parties showing their colours in the absence of official circular/notification which has led to the exclusion. This may thwart PCMC’s attempts forever from becoming SMART CITY. Thus we are coming forward to raise this issue on behalf of the citizens of PCMC and wish to highlight below four points through this letter. We humbly request you to take cognizance of our letter and take appropriate action.

A] Our loud and clear demands:
Pimpri Chinchwad should be included in Center’s ambitious Smart City mission.
2. Citizen want legitimate/official information regarding city's nomination.

B] Why are we concerned?
No clear information from State govt on exclusion. We need copy of Form 1 which state Government submitted to MoUD. Considering state’s joint city claim and the provision in Form 1 to enter single city details, we are skeptical about how state has filled details. For case of  Population and Scoring marks fields, were the  proper summations and averaging filled in?
2. As per circular published on 28/7/2015 by MoUD, Delhi city was barred from nominating their four municipalities (South, North, East, Council) into single entity. This circular clearly advises states to not nominate joint cities, then why did Maharashtra government support and nominate Pune + PCMC as joint city nomination?
3. If MoUD has rejected PCMC as Smart City then official copy of decision with reason for the same has  neither been updated on MoUD website nor does it show on State government website and is not handed over to PCMC also.
4. We learned from news that, MoUD had given chance to all states to raise objections after declaration of 98 Smart cities but state government didn’t utilise this last opportunity to correct its earlier stance.
5. We also learn that the state government is trying to compensate its mistake by offering Special Package. Citizens with rational mind are worried  that in absence of controlling authority and Smart City mission protocol such funds might encourage corruption.
6. City's local leadership is least bothered about city vision and fighting for city level issues at state and center.
7. As no legitimate information is available from the concerned authority, we as citizens of PCMC are feeling disappointed and as if being cheated.

C] Importance of Smart City project for citizens
Suggestions from the citizens are part of Smart City Proposal (SCP). Good opportunity for citizens contribute towards formulating Vision for their city.
2. Subject expert consultation and Crowdsourcing is made mandatory for project implementation. People Participation is given higher importance.
3. To address local issues, Mohalla/Ward sabha could have come into reality.
4. It is made compulsory for corporation to step up and standardise e-Governance and m-Governance service portfolio. This could have helped to boost Accountability and Transparency, ultimately bringing much needed comfort for ordinary citizens.
5. Cost effect, Reliable and Fast connectivity like Fiber Optics, WiFi could have come into reality. Communication is very critical requirement for urban population.
6. Center appointed committee comprising senior IAS officer has been given mentorship to monitor Smart City initiatives. This would have become crucial to fast track ongoing projects, monitor and audit funding.
7. Smart solutions, technology, assistance from consulting firms/experts and foreign countries could have helped stakeholders (local leadership, bureaucrats, NGOs, workers, women/senior groups) to achieve excellence in work through Capacity Building.
8. Financial/Process auditing could have helped to control corruption.
9. Through this project, City could have fetched Rs. 700 crores from State and Center governments which would have helped to get large infrastructure projects on Fast track.

D] Why does Pimpri Chinchwad deserve to be in 100 Smart Cities?
PCMC’s good standing in Smart City selection round 1 conducted by state.
2. Present population of city is more than 20 lakhs. Due to adjacent Pune city, PCMC has always remained under its shadow on many fronts. For example - People are dependent on Pune city for Transport hub, Railway Terminal, Consumer bench, State/Center offices and many more. This project will boost city's independent and different image.
3. Pimpri Chinchwad is India’s one of the leading fastest growing cities. PCMC is also pioneer of Smart City project, in a way, when this area was planned in 1966 to cater to Pune's growing urbanization demand but left unattended since then. That’s why it would be the grave injustice if PCMC is kept away from Smart City mission.
4. ‘Attracting investment and job creation’ is one of the objectives stated by MoUD. In recent past many companies have heavily invested in Talegaon-Chakan-Hinjewadi areas which are on the outskirt to PCMC. Increase in job opportunities will ultimately increase population which will put pressure on city’s infrastructure and civic needs.
5. Merger of adjacent villages: Hinjewadi, Maan, Gahunje, Chakan, Dehu, Alandi and other villages will soon get included under PCMC jurisdiction. If Smart City guidelines are applied, these areas will get proper attention in planning. Diverse areas like Hinjawadi (IT park), Chakan-Talegaon (Manufacturing hub), Dehu-Alandi (Shrine places), if planned properly, will help state to boost its image globally.
6. Pune and PCMC are sharing many services like PMPML, Metro, BRT, Traffic police. If we consider Pune area then one can imagine the chaotic situation wherein one part (Pune) will be governed under Smart City (Center+State) and other part (Pimpri Chinchwad) under ULB (Municipal Corporation). This will create utter confusion which will directly impact lives of citizens living in both cities. It will also increase operational complexities in functioning of PMRDA.
7. Citizen Participation has got higher weightage in Smart City Concept and PCMC has done great in this area through SARATHI and Participatory Budgeting initiatives.
8. For SARATHI and e-Governance projects, PCMC has won Best City, Smart City awards at national level. It has capped many prestigious awards at State level too. This shows that PCMC has good prospects compared to other cities at state and national level.
9. There will be no JNNURM funding and the  state government has withdrawn LBT which will have adversely effect on ongoing and incomplete projects ultimately affecting lives of common people. PCMC’s financial crunch will ultimately put burden on common people through increased taxes.
10. For PCMC,known for industrial belt, the exclusion will create negative image globally which could lead to major shortfall foreign direct investment in future.

Connecting NGO, Pimpri Chinchwad Citizen Forum, Wings of Hope

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