SHIMLA: Local MLA and former state BJP president Suresh Bharadwaj today accused the Urban Development department of fudging facts to get 'Smart City' tag forDharamsala and remove Himachal Pradesh capital from the list of cities included under smart city programme.
Urging Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to withdraw the name of Dharamsala and replace it with Shimla, Bharadwaj said, in case remedial steps were not taken, he would be forced to write to Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu to expose misrepresentation of facts.
The exposure would be a poor reflection on the people of Himachal", known for their honesty and integrity and the chief minister should take prompt action in getting Shimla, an internationally renowned town, the Smart City tag as it fulfills all the conditions laid down by the Union Government.
Bharadwaj alleged facts were fudged to influence thehigh-powered Steering Committee, headed by Chief Secretary P Mitra, which pushed Dharamsala for smart city and genuine claim of Shimla was overlooked.
He also accused the Mayor of Shimla Municipal Corporation of being "hand-in glove" with the government and said hecompromised the interest of Shimla town, which lost the race for inclusion smart city project.
Pointing out some "glaring discrepancies" in the facts,given by Dharamsala Municipal Council Executive Officer (EO), the Shimla MLA said, the EO wrongly claimed in self-assessment form of Government of India regarding the publication of E-newsletter that they were publishing e-newsletter, whereas there was none on their website.
Also, the website of Dharamshala MC did not give anybudget information, contrary to their claim in the form.
Similarly, the Council claimed 100 per cent implementation of reforms, which is false, as it had not implemented some very important reforms like facility for depositing online property tax and unit area method has not been implemented.
"Online water tax submission is also not available in Dharamshala MC and even the double entry accounting system has not been introduced and yet the EO Dharamshala, at the behest of Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma claimed 100 per cent reforms implemented and awarded themselves 10/10 points for the same," Bharadwaj said.
The BJP leader said, he was shocked to find out that the EO had gone to the extent of awarding himself 10/10 for implementation of JNNURM projects, whereas the fact is that Dharamsala was not covered under JNNURM.