UP is second behind Tamil Nadu (11 cities) to offer maximum number of cities to be revamped under the Smart City project. With three cities from UP appearing in the final list - Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur- released by the Centre on January 19, the largest state of India has 10 cities selected in the project.
Allahabad, Aligarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Jhansi, Varanasi, Agra, Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur are the selected cities from the state while Ghaziabad, Meerut, Rae Bareli and Rampur have lost out in the competition for scoring less than the minimum qualifying criteria set by Union ministry of housing and urban affairs.
The ministry had sought DPRs from states on how did they planned to remodel their cities based on criteria like pan city development, retrofitting of selected colonies and how it aims to make the lives of people convenient. UP had nominated 14 cities against 12 cities allocated to the state.
Besides UP, states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh had also nominated multiple cities. While Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh got all its cities selected, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu lost one city each in the competition. But UP got the biggest setback when three of its cities couldn't make it to the list because of scoring low in the criteria.
This is not the first time UP had to face embarrassment in a national competition. Earlier, too, when Centre released its first list of top 20 cities, UP couldn't get even a single city listed in that. It's only after ministry decided to pick cities of those states which had lost out in the first list, that UP's capital Lucknow appeared in the second list. The state has poorly performed even in the Swachh Bharat Rankings started since 2015.
Source: The Times of India, Lucknow