Kerala Smart City Project Yet To Make A Headway
Despite tall claims about Smart City, the Corporation is yet to make a headway in the most ambitious project the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram has ever received. The much awaited project got delayed after the consultancy shortlisted to manage it ran into controversy.
Wadia Techno Engineering Services Ltd, which bagged the project has been blacklisted for irregularities in its previous projects with Assam government and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL). Though Smartcity Thiruvananthapuram Limited, the special purpose vehicle created called for implementing the project, has sought legal opinion on continuing with a blacklisted firm it has not yet received an official communication.
At present the Corporation is continuing with superficial projects since the board is yet to make a headway in appointing a consultant. As the process of finalising consultant is taking more time, officials at the Smart City design cell and engineers are preparing plans for implementation of smart bus stops, water kiosks and toilets. A total of 135 smart bus stops will be set up in 100 wards. The Corporation plans to involve government agencies such as Kerala Water Authority and KSEB to take up some of the minor works.
The city made it to the list of Smart Cities in the third round in June last year. The project involves an expenditure of over Rs 1,500 crore by 2021. The delay in finalising the consultancy would further set back its implementation. Smart City project gets Central assistance to the tune of Rs 194 crore as first instalment for the first two years of project implementation.
Source Link- http://www.newindianexpress.com/.