From The Hindu
It is almost a year since the city was selected from among the 98 short-listed ones for implementation of the ambitious smart city project. And, the project is moving at a slow pace; it is still in the initial stages, leading to public criticism that the Belagavi Smart City Limited (BSCL), a special purpose vehicle, was not functioning at the expected pace.
Belagavi Smart City Limited was incorporated on May 11, 2016 and the government appointed IAS officer M.P. Mullai Muhilan on October 18. Mr. Muhilan had then said that the work would commence after the project management consultant was finalised. But the project management consultant was finalised in favour of Gurugram-based Lahmeyer International (India) Pvt. Ltd. only on December 31, 2016, sources told The Hindu here on Monday.
Apparently, the delay was due to finalising the project management consultant, which would play a major role in planning, designing and issuing tenders for implementation of works, among others. “I appeal to the people of Belagavi to have a little more patience as the project management consultant was finalised only three days ago. It would soon commence work,” said a senior official.
As of now, the sources said, BSCL staff were presently studying various proposals under the core infrastructure projects and smart solutions, such as the possibility of using smart metering in the existing demo-zones under the 24 x 7 drinking water supply system and the locations for the establishment of multi-utility facilitation centres with green building concept.
Also, a comprehensive study of land and projects for upgrading heritage precincts has been taken up. A survey to establish smart bus shelters at two or three locations has been taken up and the World Bank-aided Central IT Solution framework, Command and Control System, was being evaluated.
In respect of the other proposals, the detailed project report for upgrading solid waste treatment plant and sewer network for uncovered areas had been prepared by the North Karnataka Urban Sector Investment Programme (NKUSIP), while the project management consultant would look into proposals for underground utility ducting, besides the smart road design to be implemented on two demo-roads.
However, under the intelligent transport system, foundation stone for the construction of a ₹ 30-crore modern bus station was recently laid and work on piped natural gas supply taken up at a cost of ₹ 172.80 crore commenced. As many as 16 works have been proposed under the area-based development project.
Of the five projects under the convergence concept, the tender process for improvements to the sewerage system and construction of a solid waste treatment plant under AMRUT scheme at a cost of ₹ 156 crore has been completed, and detailed project reports for construction of 15 modular public toilets and block and avenue plantation were being readied.
Meanwhile, the sources said that as on May 31, the share of the Union government and the State government amounting to ₹ 194 crore each have been made available for the smart city project.