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Asansol was deprived benefits of Smart City project, despite of being selected by the Centre.

Reports by MoUD suggest that Asansol was not approved under the Smart City mission, and no funds were released by the Centre for the city.

Reports by MoUD suggest that Asansol was not approved under the Smart City mission, and no funds were released by the Centre for the city.On Dec.13, 2020, Jitendra Tiwari, the mayor of Asansol, West Bengal, wrote a letter to Firhad Hakim, the Urban Development minister in the Mamata Banerjee government. In the letter, Tiwari addressed his grievance on how Asansol got deprived of the funds for development. He claimed that Asansol got approved by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MoUD), the Government of India, under the smart city mission project, but due to political reasons, ‘it was not allowed to get the benefits of the project by the state government.’

Tiwari added that Mamata Banerjee's government had promised that the state government would provide funds for the city's overall development. But, no funds got allocated.

Asansol is a metropolitan city in the Indian state of West Bengal. In 2015 the central government had established a Smart City project in India. As a part of the project, the state governments were supposed to nominate some cities from their state, out of which 100 were to be picked by the MoUD after a selection process.

Under the list of 100 cities approved, four were selected from West Bengal (New Town Kolkata, Bidhannagar, Durgapur, and Haldia). A fund of 2 crores was allocated to each city, as per details of funds released by India's Government.

However, according to the Indian Express, Asansol was one of the cities nominated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, but the Centre did not pick the same.

Later, CM Mamata Banerjee dumped the center’s project and instead decided to develop its selected cities along the lines of its own ‘Green City Project.’ According to government officials, there are two reasons for the move. The main reason was the skewed nature of investment from the state and the Centre, while the second reason was the compulsory imposition of water tax in smart cities. In her first public appearance after winning the 2016 elections, the CM had said that the Smart City “idea” and “theory” was “wrong.” She had made the case that it would not be wise to spend the Rs 500 crore on the Smart City project, adding that the money should rather be spent as per the state government’s own understanding.

Since neither was Asansol selected by the Centre, despite being nominated by the Mamata government initially, nor did any other city in West Bengal enjoy benefits of the Smart City Project, therefore the claim is false.

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