Chandigarh to roll out first smart city project on Friday
Three years after UT was selected in the Centre’s 100 planned smart cities’ list, the City Beautiful is set to roll out its first smart city project on Friday when a ₹33 crore waste removal project will be inaugurated at Dadumajra open dumping ground.
The project will be launched by UT administrator VP Singh Badnore. Under the initiative, five lakh tonnes of accumulated waste will be flattened at the dumping ground which has been an eyesore for public since long.
Six more projects worth ₹28 crore are already in process and are likely to be executed by mid-2020. An e-governance project worth ₹14 crore is one of them. Under the proposed project, the UT administration will ensure e-approval of 28 public services, including building construction plans.
Among other projects, 10 golf carts will be made available at Sector 17 plaza as early as next month, while the work is already underway for the mapping of all underground water pipes. Tenders have been allotted and the work has also commenced to make smart classrooms at five government schools in four sectors (17, 22, 35 and 43) and the work is likely to finish by June next year. Another project to restructure the supply of recycled tertiary water is under progress with the investment of ₹4.7 crore.
TOTAL 35 PROJECTS CONCEIVED AT ₹2,000 CRORE
As of now, Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL), the nodal agency for projects mooted under the Centre’s Smart Cities Mission, has conceived a total of 35 projects, totalling the public investment to ₹2,000 crore.
Besides a number of projects in the pipeline, the major cause of worry is the slow pace of bigger projects. Two of them hold 70% of total smart city outlay of the UT -- one is ₹800 crore upgrade of sewage treatment plant (STP) and the other is 24x7 water supply project that is at a nascent stage and is estimated at ₹700 crore. The STP project is stuck at present due to the municipal corporation’s (MC’s) objection to not share maintenance cost for the project. UT administration will take a final call in the matter.
Meanwhile, a 24x7 water project’s funding is awaited from French government that is providing a loan of ₹400 crore for it’s execution. Its pilot project has been tendered five times but there has been no response from the market.
Similarly, a public bicycle sharing project that holds the key to promote cycling in the UT is also at tendering stage as despite four tenders, the UT did not get any promising bidder to execute the project that involves ₹20 crore of private investment.
When contacted, MC commissioner-cum-chief executive officer (CEO) of CSCL, KK Yadav, said that all efforts are on to expedite the projects mooted under the smart city plans.
“While the commencement of Dadumajra garbage removal project is a great achievement, several projects are also in-line for execution and they will make a difference in the lives of residents,” he said. Talking about the market response, the MC chief said, “The focus is certainly on projects that are under evaluation and being tendered time and again for slow market response. Necessary changes are being made to sync them with the current market realities.”
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