The abode of Tibetan Spiritual Guru Dalai Lama, Dharamshala in this hill state figures among the top three cities in the lists of 13 upcoming townships under national flagship program of the NDA Government. Dharamshala is recently elevated to Municipal Corporation aired hundreds of thousands of Westerners since the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama settled here.
The Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu announced in New Delhi the 13 winners of the Fast Track Smart Cities competition. They are Lucknow, Warangal, Dharamshala, Chandigarh, Raipur, New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur, Panaji, Port Blair, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala and Faridabad.
The State High Court on December 17 last year set aside the Central Government notification to accord Smart City status of Dharamshala under the Smart City Mission. At that time, the court gave two weeks to the Government to review the cities to be included on the basis of required criteria before making fresh recommendations.
The High Court judgment came on the petition of Shimla Municipal Corporation Mayor Sanjay Chauhan, who challenged the Centre’s decision, saying it approved the claim of Dharamshala Municipal Council without adopting proper legal procedure.
The State Urban Development Minister Mr. Sudhir Sharma had met Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi this month and raised the demand for including Shimla under the Smart City Mission. He sought inclusion of Dharamshala, his home constituency, under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), which has already been extended to Shimla.
Mr. Sudhir Sharma said that the State Capital needed to be included under the Smart City Mission keeping in view its pre-eminent position as the largest city of the state and also its historical and heritage status.