Dharamshala – Former Commissioner of the Dharamsala Municipal Corporation, JM Pathania, has made startling revelations about the compromised state of the Dharamsala Smart City project. Addressing the media, Pathania didn’t mince words as he demanded accountability from political parties contesting in the upcoming Dharamsala Assembly bypoll.

The crux of Pathania’s allegations revolves around the failure of political representatives in fulfilling their responsibilities towards the residents of Dharamsala, particularly concerning the Smart City project. Despite an investment of a staggering Rs 650 crore, the project has failed to yield any substantial improvements in the city’s infrastructure or quality of life for its residents.

Key among Pathania’s concerns is the selection process for the Project Management Consultancy (PMC), where he noted a significant deviation from initial criteria. He disclosed that stringent conditions, particularly regarding international experience, were relaxed after his transfer from the Commissioner’s post. This relaxation led to the withdrawal of several international firms from the bidding process, casting doubt on the integrity of the selection process.

Furthermore, Pathania shed light on the erosion of powers vested in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) established to oversee the Smart City project. Government intervention in curtailing the SPV’s authority and altering its composition, he argued, significantly impeded the project’s progress and undermined its efficacy.

The timing of Pathania’s revelations is particularly significant, coinciding with the impending bypoll in Dharamsala following the defection of Sudhir Sharma from the Congress to the BJP. As Sharma positions himself for re-election, Pathania’s allegations cast a shadow over his leadership and commitment to the Smart City initiative.

Pathania’s call for accountability resonates deeply with the electorate as they prepare to cast their votes in the upcoming bypoll. The electorate faces a crucial decision, weighing promises of progress against the stark realities of past failures. As political tensions escalate, the fate of Dharamsala hangs in the balance, awaiting the outcome of a bypoll fraught with controversy and accountability.