Cluster scheme pulls down Thane’s ranking in first smart cities survey
Even though Thane is aiming to be a smart city, a lot needs to be done to make it a reality.
The recent smart city report card of the central government has ranked Thane Municipal Corporation 57 in the ranking of 100 smart cities. The ranking was done over how fast the projects were implemented.
The corporation has blamed the poor ranking on the Rs3,700-crore cluster development project, which is part of smart city mission.
Officials have claimed that all projects undertaken under the smart city funds have taken off, but those undertaken on public-private partnership basis are stuck.
They have also claimed that the ranking is purely on tenders floated.
Since cluster scheme has urban renewal plans instead of detailed project report (DPR) or tenders, the status was not considered in the ranking.
In 2016, the central government chose Thane in the third list of smart cities to be developed across the country.
Under the scheme, a fund of Rs1,000 crore will be used for developmental projects in the city.
TMC said it has undertaken works of Rs5,505 crore under the scheme which will be funded by Ministry of Road Transport and PPP basis.
In a recent ranking of speed of implementation, the city has featured 57th on the list. The corporation though believes that the ranking will be much different in the final list which will be out by February 25.
A TMC official requesting anonymity said, “We have undertaken 42 projects under the smart city scheme. Out of which, the DPR of 41 projects are approved and tenders for 38 projects have been floated. We have also given work orders of 38 projects.”
He added, “ Five projects are completed. The projects funded under the Rs1,000-crore smart city funds are progressing well. However, those undertaken under PPP basis are in nascent stage.”
The major among them is cluster development scheme, which constituted over 75 per cent of the total budget of smart city projects.
The official said, “More than Rs3,700 crore have been allotted for cluster development scheme which is included in the smart city project. The ranking merely is based on how many tenders are floated and how many work orders are given.”
Saying that there are no tenders in the cluster scheme, he said.
“We have drafted urban renewal plans. Further development will be on PPP basis. The corporation is merely the planning authority, while the cluster is more like a modified development plan for the city. These URPs aren’t considered in the ranking.”
He said five projects, including development of four lakefronts and a street-lighting project is completed. Most major projects stuck for the past many years are in tendering stage.
The final result for the smart city mission will be announced by February 25.