The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area, which houses bungalows of ministers, politicians and bureaucrats, made it to the first list of 20 urban centres to be developed under the NDA government’s flagship smart city programme.

The leafy VIP zone designed by British architect Edwin Lutyens in the early 20th century, where a mere 1.5% of the Capital’s 16.78 million people live, was on the list announced by urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday despite fairing far better in terms of civic amenities and infrastructure compared to the rest of the city.

The power district with wide, tree-lined promenades, spacious bungalows and the Capital’s signature landmarks — but covering just 3% of the city’s landmass — was ranked number 15 on the list.

In comparison, areas under the three municipal corporations of Delhi, where the bulk of the city’s population live, was ranked one of the dirtiest in the country in an urban development ministry survey last year. These areas ranked extremely poor on two key sanitation parameters — open defecation and solid waste management.

Given the lopsided equation, questions were asked why the NDMC area was selected.


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