Venkaiah Naidu compliments Puducherry CM
Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has complimented the Government of Puducherry for becoming the first to send a "Smart City" nomination and urged Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy to keep up the momentum.
As per the criteria for assigning "Smart City" slots for each state and Union Territory (UT) based on equal weightage for urban population and number of urban local bodies, and to ensure geographical equity, Puducherry has been assigned one slot under Smart City Mission, an official release of the ministry has said.
According to the release, the Urban Development Ministry is in regular contact with all states and UTs regarding the progress of Stage-1 of the 'City Challenge' competition ever since they were asked to send their nominations by the end of this month. As per reports, the competition is progressing well.
Since the launch of the 100 Smart City Mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25, Puducherry has nominated its capital city Pondicherry for inclusion.
Puducherry's Chief Secretary Manoj Parida forwarded the nomination along with all forms and documents, including details of evaluation of all the five urban local bodies in the Union Territory as required for the Stage-1 of the 'City Challenge' competition.
These ULBs included: Puducherry, Oulgaret, Kariakal, Mahe and Yanam. The High Powered Steering Committee (HPSC) constituted as per the guidelines of the mission and headed by Chief Secretary Parida oversaw the process of the first stage intra-state competition, and thereafter, sent its recommendations to the Urban Development Ministry.
Puducherry, which has a population of 657,209, has done well in respect of several Stage-1 evaluation criteria and scored 75 of the possible 100 marks. The HPSC has reported that the Puducherry Municipal Corporation has achieved the following landmarks:
-Achieved 18 percent improvement in provision of household sanitary latrines since 2011.
-Increased internal revenue generation continuously over the three year period 2012-13 - 2014-15, marking an improvement of 14 percent.
-Paid staff salaries till last month.
-Has got its accounts audited up to 2012-13.
-Has achieved 63 percent of budgeted receipts from tax revenue, fees, user charges, rents and other internal resources during 2014-15.
-Met 23 percent of its capital expenditure from internal resources.
-Met about 80 percent of O and M costs of water supply through user charges.
-Has an operational online grievance redressal system and published monthly e-news letter.
-Posted details of municipal budget expenditure for the last two financial years on its website.
As required under the guidelines, the Puducherry Government has also furnished a copy of the order constituting an Inter-Departmental Task Force to advice and coordinate preparation of Smart City Proposal for the capital city besides assisting the High Powered Steering Committee.