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Smart City Project showing little progress

 Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 30 - Among all the first round cities covered under the Smart City Mission of the Government of India, the performance of the Guwahati Smart City Project has been rather poor, according to an official source in the State government.

According to the source, in every review meeting, the Union government puts pressure on the Guwahati Smart City Limited (GSCL) for expediting the projects faster and it even warned GSCL of taking the allotted funds back. However, such efforts of the Central government have turned futile as there has been little progress under the project so far. Rather, in recent times, a number of projects proposed under the GSCL have either been deferred or transferred to other departments due to various reasons.

Initially, the GSCL proposed to start a series of development projects in the city, which included a pan city project, development of Borsola Beel, development of the Bharalu and the Mora Bharalu rivers, development of Deepor Beel, the Brahmaputra riverfront development, installation of smart bio-toilets and water ATMs, refurbishment of Gandhi Mandap, etc.

The source said that recently, the GSCL deferred the Borsola Beel development project and also dropped the project related to the Bharalu and the Mora Bharalu rivers. It also transferred the Deepor Beel project to the Forest department. The source further said that due to lack of proper planning and management, both the smart bio-toilet and the water ATM projects of the GSCL are yet to produce the expected results.

Now, the GSCL authority is aiming to start the Brahmaputra riverfront development project and has already completed most of the official formalities. If no new challenge surfaces in the coming days, then the project will kickstart soon.

Meanwhile, the GSCL proposed another seven projects in its recently held meeting of its Board of Directors. The list of newly proposed projects includes construction of a welcome gate near the LGBI Airport and Khanapara, a multi-sports stadium complex near the Arya Vidyapeeth College ground, automated signals for pedestrian crossing on the GS Road, shelters below flyovers for the urban homeless people, an Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC) building at Panjabari, development of Meen Pukhuri and beautification of the Navagraha temple premises.

In connection with these projects, the Board of Directors directed the GSCL officials to make presentation on the design and architecture of the welcome gate before the Chief Minister for his approval. In case of the multi-sports stadium, the meeting directed the officials concerned to place the DPR in the next meeting. It also asked the officials concerned to get approval and views on the ICCC building project. To start the project at the Navagraha temple, the meeting directed the GSCL to prepare the concept and obtain all necessary permissions from the authorities concerned. Meanwhile, the meeting also deferred three other newly proposed projects.

Source: The Assam Tribune, Guwahati, Tuesday, December 31, 2019