Smart City Mission: 3 years on, only 3 of 46 projects implemented in Faridabad
More than three years after Faridabad was selected under the Smart City Mission, only three projects of the total of 46 have been implemented in the city. These include construction of 10 smart toilets, transplantation of trees and construction of an open-air gymnasium in Sector 21B.
After being excluded from the first list of smart cities in 2015, Faridabad made the cut as part of a “fast track” selection process in May the following year along with 12 other cities after the municipal corporation submitted a smart city proposal to the ministry of urban development. It proposed development projects worth Rs 2,600 crore, including a revamp of city’s transport system, smart power meters, solar power and WiFi-enabled public spaces to name a few.
The two flagship projects – a dedicated city-bus service and rejuvenation of Badkal Lake and surrounding areas – included in the smart city proposal have not been implemented, though detailed project reports (DPRs) for the same have been approved. Also, of the total 46 projects proposed, just 17 are in the execution stage, according to data provided by Faridabad Smart City Limited (FSCL).
Of the Rs 400 crore released for the implementation of projects under the scheme, the FSCL — a special purpose vehicle (SPV) constituted for the purpose — has utilised only Rs 62 crore. Another Rs 4 crore has been spent on administrative and other expenses, according to an RTI response by the FSCL in February.
“There will be perceptible changes on the ground within a few months. We are clearing projects for execution on priority,” said Garima Mittal, CEO, FSCL. Mittal declined to comment on the slow pace of the projects as she took charge last week.
The FSCL’s primary objective was redevelopment of Sectors 19, 20, 28, 21B and 21D, which were earmarked for “area-based development”, said Mittal, adding: “The other two strategic components of the area-based development are retrofitting of infrastructure and green-fielding, but redevelopment is the focus at the moment.”
Projects which are currently in progress include an upcoming Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) in Sector 20A, new water pipelines and an underground water reservoir in Sant Nagar, Sector 21, beautification of junctions, rainwater harvesting in schools and horticultural upkeep.
“The ICCC, which will become operational within a month, will include traffic management and CCTV surveillance,” said Mittal. To power the ICCC, the FSCL has also planned to install a 325km network of fibre optic cables across 550 locations in the city, though the project is yet to be implemented.
Another key project — setting up of continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations to map air pollution in the city — is at the tendering stage. The project is important for the city as it has 3,000 registered factories.
A detailed project report for a dedicated city bus service on the lines of Gurugram has also been approved. “The service will cover a route of 148km, including feeder services to the metro on 10 routes, and another nine intra-city routes,” Mittal said. A total of 90 buses have been proposed for the service, including 40 air-conditioned vehicles.