CM Devendra Fadnavis virtually won over the entire opposition to the scheme and erased all doubts of members from all parties. Making it clear that the smart city scheme would not transgress upon autonomy of the municipal corporations in any way, on Monday
Chief minister Fadnavis was at his best while replying to the debate on supplementary demands in the state assembly on Monday. After three hours of discussion on the demands and criticism by stalwarts former chief ministerPrithviraj Chavan and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Fadnavis argued for the scheme in a convincing way and presented the case for the smart city scheme. He reminded Opposition stalwarts that it was they who had advocated the same SPV (special purpose vehicle) for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and other entities during their rule.
While putting forward the idea of a smart city for the first time before the people of the state through assembly address, Fadnavis made it clear that the smart city scheme was aimed at making a delivery mechanism for providing services to urban areas in a more efficient way than before. He made it clear that the special purpose vehicle and the private public partnership would not have any problem with the autonomy of the municipal corporations and elected representatives.
Fadnavis pointed out that the entire planning before his government came to power had an impression that urbanisation is a curse. He pointed out that while agriculture provides employment to 50 per cent people, agriculture only contributes 11 per cent to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the state. He pointed out that on the contrary urbanised cities in the state are contributing towards 65 per cent in the state GDP. He made it clear that the smart city scheme is aimed at creating a balance between rural and urban ultimately to provide all services to the last man in the society in an effective manner.
Fadnavis pointed out that the since the planning process had been neglected so far, it gave rise to ugly cities with all kinds of problems, including rising slums, lack of solid waste management in a scientific manner, lack of sewage treatment plants and processing of the sewage and sewerage making all the rivers most polluted water bodies. He said that industrial waste amounts to only 10 per cent while urban untreated sewage released into rivers amounts to 90 per cent of river pollution in the state.