According to the Union Urban Development Ministry, Shimla and Dehradun along with 27 other cities has been brought under the project, an official spokesman said.
State capital Shimla has been selected as the second Smart City of Himachal Pradesh after Dharamshala that was brought under the Centre's urban development project last year. The Smart City status was one of the main issues in the recently held Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) poll in which the BJP emerged as the largest party.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the smart city will also enable the rehabilitation of around 800 families presently living in slum areas. He also said that the project would facilitate better infrastructure in water supply, storm water drainage, urban transport, e-governance, capacity building and institutional strengthening.
Dehradun's inclusion in the list is being seen as a gift from the Centre to the state where the BJP recorded a landslide victory in the assembly polls earlier this year. This also comes at a time when the Trivendra Singh Rawat government is set to complete 100 days in office. The Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) had prepared the plan for the project.
Former chief minister Harish Rawat had also tried for the inclusion of Dehradun in the Centre's Smart City list but proposals sent by the MDDA during his tenure were rejected.