Government had selected the cities based on certain pre-defined criteria and few of the fastest growing cities did not seem to fulfil it. The state capitals and many other important cities were left behind due to its inability to fulfil important criteria such as property tax collections, water cess, utilization of funds under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the city’s finances. Bengaluru scored terribly due to it being badly managed and was deliberately kept out of the list as per Karnataka Chief Secretary, Kaushik Mukherjee. In contrast, six small cities and towns such as Mangalore, Belagavi, Shivamogga, Hubballi-Dharwad, Tumakuru and Devanegere were better managed and made it to the list.
Kolkata also was left behind while small satellite towns of Bidhannagar and Haldia formed part of the list. New Town Kolkata and Durgapur also form part of smart city development plan .As per a West Bengal Official: “”Modern theory of urban development says these satellite towns are those that need to be developed with increasing pressure of migration. Kolkata was never a part of the plan.”
Amongst the metro cities, only Chennai and Delhi have made it to the finals. The state government had sent two names for nomination in Delhi – NDMC area and IP Extension (in East Delhi). However NDMC area is currently less congested and relatively easier to develop and was thus chosen under the smart city plan. The cities of Noida and Gurgaon which are currently well equipped with Information and Communication technology and are amongst the few planned cities of India also could not make it to the final list.
Similarly, the popular tourist destination of Shimla (State capital of Himachal Pradesh) also lost it to Dharamsala. Only one nomination was permitted for the state. A state official explained why Dharamsala was preferred over Shimla by the government: “On the basis of criteria fixed by the Centre, Dharamsala scored 87.5 per cent, whereas Shimla scored 85 per cent. A major reason for Shimla being placed second was extremely poor implementation and non-completion of projects sanctioned under the JNNURM.”
Selection for 2 cities is yet to be finalized – one in Uttar Pradesh and another in Jammu and Kashmir. While the cities are still being finalized, one smart city is already under development stage. Dholera SIR in Gujarat is the first smart city in Gujarat and has been sanctioned developmental funds of Rs. 3,000 crore by central government. It is already attracting NRI investments in India and is being designed by international architects all set to be one amongst the fastest growing cities of India.
It’s time for small ones to make it big and create all the difference. Small cities in form of smart cities are all set to bring in an explosion in the economic growth of India!
Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
Hard Rock Cafe Darling Harbour Media And Celebs Event; Sydney, Australia by Eva Rinaldi
The world famous Hard Rock Cafe has returned to ‘Sin City’ Sydney with a vengeance, based on tonight’s launch event at the brand new Darling Harbour venue.
Hard Rock put on quite a show and rolled out the celebrities and live music including: Hamish Dodds, Matt Sorum, Dave Rich, DJ Lethal, Stan Walker, Angry Anderson, L Huntly, Sarah McLoed, Hamish Rosser, Altiyan Childs, Kris Peterson and Stim McLean. Most of them had turns smashing guitars, which is a trademark of opening new Hard Rock Cafes.
We all know that the cost of living and setting up a business in Sydney is considerable, but Hard Rock is certain their latest Australian venture will be a smashing (as in guitar) success. Sydney is one of the busiest markets anywhere globally for the Hard Rock Cafe, says the global chief of the music-themed burgers and ribs franchise.
Hamish Dodds, prez and chief exec of Hard Rock International, advised staffing costs down under in Australia make Hard Rock’s Sydney operations expensive compared with other global locations, and they are comparing to its other 172 venues which include cafes, hotels and even land based casinos. Yes, casinos, but Australia’s The Star and Crown Casino need not worry, as they have no plans for gaming in Australia – at least not any they are talking about.
Hard Rock International is owned by the well known and respected Seminole American Indian tribe, which purchased the global Hard Rock brand in 2007 after successfully running two Hard Rock hotel and casino operations in Florida in the U.S.
"For us this is an English-speaking country and people understand the history of rock," Mr Dodds said in Sydney on Tuesday ahead of the grand opening of the 500-seat venue in the Darling Harbour entertainment hotbed.
"Part of the downside of this market is it’s a mature economy – staffing costs in this market are very different to what we would experience in India.
"I would say the price mark-up here is about 50 per cent higher than the US – this is probably one of the most expensive markets we have in our portfolio."
Mr Dodds advised the Sydney Hard Rock Cafe was priced at a similar level to comparable restaurants in the area and he expected business to be brisk, averaging between 300 to 700 main meals a day.
Sydney would be among the top ten performers in the global network, he said, and among the top five of franchised outlets.
Tonight signified a return to Sydney for the Hard Rock franchise, which closed its previous venue in East Sydney in 2007.
Mr Dodds said Hard Rock had returned to Sydney with a revised and smarter strategy.
He said the former business was in a great location for the 1980s when the brand was fresh and people would go to the Hard Rock Cafe.
"Copycats harmed Hard Rock’s own business and the market changed to the point where we found ourselves in a B minus location and to a degree we lost a bit of relevance", Mr Dodds said.
The firm bought back its Sydney franchise in 2007 and has been revived by director and franchise holder Lennie Huntly, former GM of the Sydney business during the 90s.
Mr Huntly, who also holds the franchise for the Hard Rock Cafe in Surfers Paradise, said he had been thinking about re-opening a Sydney Hard Rock Cafe since the last one closed.
The waterfront location and views over Darling Harbour are a huge plus and soon a live music stage and 600-person music area will be rocking and rolling.
"We are focused on not only being about lunch and dinner," he said.
Mr Huntly also has the rights to open venues in Melbourne, Cairns and Perth. Melbourne’s former venue closed in 2007, but that doesn’t mean it will return with a hit.
Well done to the good folks at Hard Rock Cafe and we look forward to meeting up with the great guys and girls there again soon. Rock on.
Hard Rock Cafe International
Darling Harbour official website
Guns and Roses
Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr
Eva Rinaldi Photography
Media Man News
Music News Australia
Andhra Pradesh’s ambitious plan to build a world-class new capital Amaravathi is laudable for its global standards and vision. Let’s hope Andhra Pradesh’s CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu would pull off this enterprise with success. Good luck to Andhra people and Indians.
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