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Hope floats for Doon’s Smart City dream, project gets leader

dehradun Updated: Aug 11, 2017 19:48 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,Smart City,Dehradun

Shifting of waste operations from trenching ground on Sahastradhara Road to Shishambara on the city's outskirts is likely to be extended till December. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

Hope has finally floated for Dehradun’s Smart City dream with the appointment of a top-ranking official to lead the project, more than a month after the Centre included the Uttarakhand capital in its flagship programme.

After three failed attempts over the past years, Dehradun’s proposal got selected for Smart City programme on June 23.

Over a month and a half later, the state government on Thursday appointed a 2003-batch Indian Administrative Service official Dilip Jawalkar as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) – a separate body that will look after the project’s implementation. Jawalkar recently returned from the US after attending a special masters’ training.

Besides being the CEO, Jawalkar, who has also been made the Garhwal commissioner, will act as the ex-officio chairman of the Smart City Board.

Other directors of the board include vice-chairperson of Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority, municipal commissioner of Dehradun and director of the urban development department.

“Now that the project has got its leading man, the real work to translate the Smart City dream on ground will finally begin,” Dehradun mayor Vinod Chamoli told HT.

“As per the Smart City norms, the official will not be removed from his position for a period of a minimum three years to ensure consistency in the project,” said Chamoli, who is also an MLA from Dehradun’s Dharampur constituency.

Notably, the CEO will be responsible for ensuring effective utilisation of large sums of funds involved in the project which is pegged at over Rs.1,400 crore.

Of this, Rs.500 crore each has to be contributed by the Centre and state governments and the rest through convergence of existing schemes and public private partnership mode.

Smart City’s trash woes may continue till December

While work on the project is expected to roll out soon, the solid waste management woes of Dehradun - which put a blot on its aspiration to be a Smart City – are likely to continue for now.

After an under-construction waste processing plant in Dehradun failed to meet its July 31 deadline, the Supreme Court has now asked the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) to complete works by December 7.

The plant cum scientific landfill site on city’s outskirts was supposed to have replaced the existing trenching ground or waste disposal site near Sahastradhara Road by July 31.

“We apprised the apex court that almost 70% work on the plant is over and the remaining work is likely to be complete in some weeks,” municipal commissioner Ravneet Cheema said.

“The court has set December 8 as the next date of hearing and we are confident of shifting waste operations from the existing site to Shishambara (on city’s outskirts) till then,” said Cheema.

On August 2, the National Green Tribunal while hearing a similar case asked the civic body to speed up works on the plant’s construction.

First Published: Aug 11, 2017 19:48 IST