Kolkata: Just ahead of West Bengal polls, chief minister Mamata Banerjee faced another trouble as the outgoing mayor of Asansol in West Burdwan district, Jitendra Tiwari accused the Trinamool Congress government of not letting the city receive funds to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre under the Smart City project because of political reasons.
This has caused major embarrassment for the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in a region where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won two adjacent Lok Sabha seats in 2019.
In his letter to urban development minister Firhad Hakim on Sunday, Tiwari wrote,“…I am very aggrieved to state that our city was chosen by the Ministry of urban development, Government of India, under Smart City Mission project which if allowed by you, could have received funds amounting Rs2,000 crore which would be very crucial for development of the city.”
“… due to political reasons we were not allowed to get benefits of it by the state government,” Tiwari said in the letter which was marked confidential but got leaked to the media on Monday morning.
Tiwari also expressed his displeasure over funds not being provided for a number of local projects, such as Prince Dwaraknath Thakur Town Hall in Raniganj, renovation of the town hall at Jamuria and several roads in Asansol, Burnpur, Kulti, Jamuria and Raniganj.
“Asansol was chosen under this (Smart City) project as a result of tremendous work effort of councillors and the entire team of AMC (Asansol Municipal Corporation) but due to political reasons, we were not allowed to get the benefits of this project,” he wrote.
“It was promised that funds will be made available by the state government for overall development of this city but it was not done. Similarly, under the solid waste management project, Asansol city could have received another Rs1500 crore from the Centre…but you and your department have not allowed us to get the benefits of these Central Government funds due to which I feel that Injustice has been made to the City of Asansol,” wrote the outgoing mayor.