The deadline for completing projects under the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) was extended to June 2023 for all 100 participating cities due to the delays caused by COVID-19, based on a NITI Aayog recommendation in August. In response, Belagavi Smart City Limited is working diligently to start all pending projects and finish those already in progress.
Despite this, many works under the Smart City scheme in Belagavi remain incomplete. For example, the first Smart Road, Mandoli Road, is still unfinished, although it may appear to be complete on paper. The same is true for the multi-purpose business center in Kalamandir and various works at the Vaccine Depot. The work on the Vaccine Depot is expected to be completed by June, but the business center in the Kalamandir premises will be delayed.
By June 30, 2023, the works undertaken by Belagavi Smart City Ltd will be transferred to the Belagavi City Corporation and other relevant government departments, such as the police.
A total of 930 crore rupees have been sanctioned to Belagavi from the central and state governments for the Smart City scheme, of which 804 crore has already been spent.
According to the report in the Sakal, 103 works have been undertaken and more than 75 of them have been completed. The remaining work must be completed before the deadline. The works under the Smart City scheme are being carried out on the principle of the build, use and transfer model, meaning that works can still be completed after June 30, but with the funds of the Smart City scheme.
The employees of various government departments who are serving on deputation in the Smart City will be recalled to their original departments after June 30.
In response to several questions about Smart City projects in the country, the Ministry informed the Lok Sabha on Thursday that “the period of implementation of SCM has been extended to June 2023”.
Though announced in 2015, the SCM was conducted as a competition with cities being selected from 2016 to 2018, a senior Ministry official pointed out. The cities were given five years to complete the projects under the mission, with the first set of Smart Cities expected to complete in 2021.