Smart City project fails to make significant headway in 2017

Tanaji Khot
Thursday, 21 December 2017

As we approach the end of 2017, Sakal Times revisits the major happenings that took place in the country during the year. This report throws light on how Smart City project has failed to make headway during the year


Pune: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Smart City Project in Pune at a mega event in January last year. However, the project has failed to make a significant headway during the last one-and-half years. As most of the projects planned under Smart City project are in the initial stage. Recently, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was appointed for Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL).

According to the audit conducted by the board of directors of the Smart City Development Corporation Limited recently, the corporation claimed to have completed only four out of 34 projects initiated under this mission. However, only two of these projects have come into existence in August 2017. The PSCDCL has spent Rs 174.61 crore on these four projects.

The project has still not been streamlined properly due to lack of coordination between different agencies and lack of public participation. Recently, a system of taking weekly review has been started by the authorities along with frequent consultation with the citizens' advisory committee. After negotiating the initial hiccups, the project is likely to gain momentum in year 2018.

So far, PSCDCL has completed only theme-based facilities that are innovative and dynamic as compared to usual gardens. In the pilot run, the four sites have been designed across the city. Two sites are located in Baner and are supposed to be developed by PSCDCL and two within the limits of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The Baner sites have already been designed under the theme ‘e-learning and skill development’. But, the other theme, which is supposed to be developed under ‘leisure and meditation’ theme, is yet to become a reality."

The PSCDL has developed a model road at Aundh, but locals are alleging that the authorities did not take them into confidence while undertaking these works. 

Chetan Tupe, opposition leader in PMC and Director of PSCDCL, said, “Even after more than one-and-half years, the project has not been able to make any significant impact in the city, it has just completed only two projects.”

The estimated cost of all the 34 projects is Rs 2,931 crore in Aundh-Baner-Balewadi and other parts of the city. These projects include street redesign (1.5 km, 6.5 km and 25.5 km), 24x7 water supply project, adaptive traffic management system, open spaces (pilot and new phase), river water cleaning, water recycling and sanitation under NRCD, smart elements, bus ITMS, smart parking, 100 e-buses, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), express airport service, 100 e-rickshaws, storm water drain, rain water harvesting, solid waste management, electricity distribution - smart grid and net metering, CCTV cameras, riverfront development, fire station, start-up hub, intelligent road management system, redesigning of 14 junctions, command control centre for transport, solar energy supply, street lighting, etc, and transit hub, building affordable homes, revamping 54 bus stations, low-income skill development, consultancy services and public bicycle sharing.

Rajendra Jagtap, Chief Executive Officer of PSCDCL, during the meeting of the board of directors recently, informed, “Most of the projects are ongoing, which are supposed to be completed by June 2018. Most of them have reached the completion stage and the progress will be reflected in the audit report for PSCDCL next year."

- August 1, 2015: Ten cities from Maharashtra including Pune were selected for participation in first round of selection of smart cities
- December 15, 2015: Selected smart cities submitted their Smart City proposal
- January 28, 2016: Pune secured 2nd position in the 20 smart cities in the first list declared by MoUD.
- June 25, 2016: PM Narendra Modi launches smart city project in Pune for 82 cities selected for the project. 

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