Buoyed by smart city mission tag, Patna, Muzaffarpur gear up for makeover | patna | Hindustan Times
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Buoyed by smart city mission tag, Patna, Muzaffarpur gear up for makeover

With the selection of Patna and Muzaffarpur, Bihar has managed to push three of its cities, including Bhagalpur, under the smart city mission. 

patna Updated: Jun 26, 2017 17:30 IST
Subhash Pathak
Area based development, pan city development and pan city smart solutions have been proposed for Patna under the smart city mission.
Area based development, pan city development and pan city smart solutions have been proposed for Patna under the smart city mission. (File photo)

Stage is now set for makeover of Patna and Muzaffarpur following their selection under the ambitious smart city mission of the Union government. 

Though the areas to be renovated under the mission are limited to pockets, it might set a benchmark for planning agencies to reorient cities’ master plans to facilitate similar development in the rest of the areas. 

With the selection of Patna—a city with a glorious heritage—and Muzaffarpur—one of the oldest and biggest trade centres of north India—Bihar managed to push three of its cities, including Bhagalpur, under the mission. Each city is entitled to get Rs 1000 crore over a period of five years from the Centre as well as the state government in equal share for redevelopment of selected areas with smart civic facilities. 

Special secretary, urban development department (UDD), Sanjay Dayal, exuded confidence that Biharsharif, which has been offered another chance to compete among 20 cities in the next round of contest, might also be included in the smart city mission. Biharsharif, which happens to be headquarters chief minister Nitish Kumar’s home district of Nalanda, lagged slightly behind in the contest. 

Smart city plan for Patna. (Gr)

“Ten more cities are to be selected under the smart city mission by the Centre, early next year. Twenty cities, including Biharsharif, are in the contest,” added Dayal. 

The state government has envisaged investment of Rs 2,506 crore for redevelopment of Patna and Rs 1,600 crore for Muzaffarpur. While the cities will get Rs 1,000 crore grant from the government for development as smart cities, the rest of expenditure will be managed from internal resources of the respective municipal corporations or private investors in public private partnership (PPP) mode. 

As per the mandate of smart city mission, the state government is expected to set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for the two cities to avail the initial grant of Rs 200 crore each to launch the ground operation for renovation. 

“Given the experience with Bhagalpur’s smart city project, it may take about a year for the newly selected cities to have a full-fledged mechanism to roll out the development plans,” said a senior officer, adding that Bhagalpur SPV was yet to become fully functional even after a year of its selection under the smart city mission. 

Municipal commissioners will be made managing directors of the SPVs, to be known as smart city limited, but chief operating officers (CEOs) and finance controllers endowed with expertise in town planning will have to be appointed through open advertisements. The divisional commissioner of Bhagalpur has been made the CEO of Bhagalpur smart city limited after it failed to find a suitable professional. 

Three types of development have been proposed for Patna under the smart city mission, which include area based development, pan city development and pan city smart solutions.

The mission concept envisages redevelopment of areas between Patna junction and Gandhi Maidan to add components of smart cities without disturbing the existing structures (known as retrofitting). It also includes renovation of areas around Patna junction. 

Retrofitting for localities around Boring Road and Mainpura are proposed , besides developing public parks, public buildings, government and private offices, commercial zone and river front .

Similarly, heathcare facility, building large residential areas of mixed income group, a sporting complex at Patliputra and construction of inter-state bus terminus, besides NH30 city bypass, would be developed. 

Similar renovation plans have been proposed in Patna City area on the stretch between Patna Sahib station to Kangan Ghat on the banks of Ganga. 

As per the vision document for smart Patna, the UDD also intends to redevelop Gardanibagh government residential area and Patliputra industrial area. The barren land on the banks of Ganga and uninhibited land off Patna-Bakhtiyarpur bypass and south of Kankarbagh are to be developed as green field areas. 

Information technology based intelligent water supply management, storm water management, transport and traffic management, smart municipal governance, solid waste management and power outage management have been proposed under the pan city solution for Patna. 

Smart city plan for Muzaffarpur.

The smart city plans for Muzaffarpur also envisage river front development on the banks of Burhi Gandak, rejuvenation of Brahmpura lake, redevelopment and landscaping for open spaces and development of sporting complex in Sikanderpur area under the area based development proposal. 

Decongestion of Suttapatti commercial area and development of new markets, improvement of road surface, development of smart parking, installation of intelligent traffic system and pedestrian zones, continuous water and water supply and upgraded sewerage and drainage system have been proposed in core area of Muzaffarpur.