HT Spotlight: Nothing smart about Chandigarh as yet
Two years after Chandigarh was declared Smart City, things are yet to move beyond the drawing board.Updated: Jul 26, 2018 12:09 IST
In spite of being declared a smart city as part of the Smart Cities Mission in May 2016, Chandigarh has yet to see the launch of a single project under Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
A smart city is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability with information technology as the principal infrastructure and basis for providing essential services to residents.
Implementation of the Mission at the city level is done through the SPV. Funds granted by the government for the Mission to the SPV are kept in a separate grant fund.
About 70 projects are planned as part of the Mission of which 32 are under SPV and 38 under convergence of Missions, which means these are covered under other schemes such as the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Swachh Bharat Mission.
As the main smart city projects are under SPV, the officials concerned say it will take another three months to float tenders for the same.
Though the SPV was formed in July 2016, the board of directors overseeing the mission is yet to appoint a general manager, a chief finance officer, company secretary and 10 members of supporting staff.
Even the Smart Office inaugurated last week in Sector 17 remains without staff.
Scheduled to start in October last year, the projects have been delayed and likely to begin in about three months, sources say.
The Centre has also not allocated funds to Chandigarh for 2018-19 as the sum of ₹296 crore allocated in the previous years remains unspent. Just ₹15 crore was spent last year, and that too after payment of income tax on the unspent amount and consultation fee.
Also, the three Chandigarh municipal corporation heads and chief executive officers of the Smart City, B Purushartha, Jitender Yadav and now KK Yadav, have taken their time to study the project.
French firm only submitted three DPRs
French firm Egis International hired as consultant on May 2017 to implement the projects has also managed to submit only three detailed project reports (DPRs): That of Round-the-clock water supply, public bicycle sharing and integrated management system. Other reports are awaited.
Also, even though six sectors: 16, 17, 19, 22, 35 and 43, will be taken up as special cases under the Area-Based Development (ABD) plan, the UT administration plans to spend 90% of the estimated total fund of ₹5,600 crore on Sector 43 alone.
Apart from that, plans remain pending for round-the-clock water supply, smart metering for power and water, a bicycle track at the Leisure Valley and disabled-friendly sidewalks and development of parks.
Some projects will be funded through the private sector with public-private partnerships, expected to add ₹3,000 crore Chandigarh’s coffers.
STATUS OF SMART CITY PROJECTS
Cost of project: ₹ 50 crore
The pilot project for Manimajra will be replicated in the entire city. Smart water meters will also be installed as part of this project. Smart city consultant Egis International in its detailed project report submitted to the MC highlighted wastage of 25%, which means 20 million gallon daily (MGD) of water wasted because of underground leakage and stand posts in colonies
Bicycle sharing system
Cost of project: ₹30 crore
As part of the public bicycle sharing system, 5,000 bicycles are to be fitted with GPRS tracking systems and used at 600 busy points in the city. A control room will monitor the movement. People can take a bicycle from one point and drop it at the sharing point close to their destination. Sharing points will be in Sector 17, at Panjab University, Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden, PGIMER, and bus stands, among other places.
Command control centre
Cost of project: ₹36 crore
To come up in Sector 17, an integrated command control centre will integrate utility services such as water supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), solid waste management, mechanised cleaning of roads, bus transport solution and citizen portal solutions. Named Smart City Operations Centre, it will have smart analytic and artificial intelligence-enabled solutions, and will act as an urban observatory integrating all the live smart city solutions of Chandigarh.
Other important projects where DPRs have to be submitted
1. Integrated solid waste management system: ₹ 20 crore
2. Treatment facility, augmentation of sewage treatment plant: ₹14 crore
3. Free WiFi zone in Sector 17, Sector 43, commercial part of sectors 22 and 35: ₹10 crore
4. Data centre: ₹24 crore
90 % amount to be spent to develop Sector 43
As part of the smart city project the UT administration plans to spend 90% of the estimated total fund of ₹5,600 crore only on Sector 43.
The funds for this plan are to be generated on a self-sustenance basis. Vacant/underutilised land will be developed over five years in Sector 43 to create mixed use district for innovation and employment generation. Around 71 acres adjacent to the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) and District Court Complex will be used to create a compact and mixed use development facility. Facilities like exhibition centre, convention centre, iconic arena, art museum/ gallery, hotels and serviced apartments, office space for incubation and skill development centre, integrated broadway, food and beverage district along with entertainment, residential – affordable housing, hostel facility and children’s playground – will be developed here in line with environmental principles.
Work on some of the projects started under convergence of Missions
The Urban Park will be developed on the pattern of Hyde Park in London on nine acres of vacant land behind Neelam Theatre next to the football stadium. The landscaped park will have food courts, cycle tracks, parking and LED lighting, besides game stations for children and a walking track. There will also be an amphitheatre, public hill for large gatherings, football ground with integrated pavilion, video screens and other multipurpose playgrounds for recreational sports. Work on the project began in February and is expected to be completed in December this year.
Where: Behind Neelam Theatre in Sector 17
By when: nine months
Cost: ₹11 crore
Subway from rose garden
The administration has already started work on a subway connecting Sector 17 to the Rose Garden in Sector 16, which is expected to be finished by December this year. The new underpass, open near the Reserve Bank of India Building, will allow visitors to go directly to the Rose Garden from the city centre without crossing Jan Marg. Recreational facilities will also be set up within the pass.
Where: Near the RBI building
Deadline: In nine months
Cost: ₹6 crore
About 75% work on the cycle tracks has been completed on Vigyan Marg (dividing road of Sector 4 and Sector 9) at a cost of ₹1.5 crore. The work of constructing, repairing and re-carpeting of 99 km out of 146 km has been completed and the rest is expected to be completed by December 2018.
Lone project completed
Signage road marking and way finding