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Wednesday, 19.06.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Rs 1,478-cr plan shelved

  • The Rs 2,109 crore project has now been limited to Rs 631 cr
  • The project in totality could not be executed as investors didn’t come forward

The Dharamsala Smart City project will come to an end in June. The project, which was proposed for Rs 2,109 crore when it was sanctioned for Dharamsala city in August 2015, now has been limited to just Rs 631 crore. The remaining parts of the project worth Rs 1,478 crore have been shelved.

Dharamsala was selected in the first phase of cities to be developed as Smart City after PM Narendra Modi flagged off the scheme in June 25, 2015. The Commissioner of the Dharamsala Municipal Corporation and MD of Dharamsala Smart City project, Anurag Chander Sharma, admitted that the Smart City Dharamsala project was going to end in June.

Asked why projects worth Rs 2,109 crore planned in the project were not executed, he said many proposed projects were to be executed under ‘build, operate and transfer’ (BOT) basis. These projects could not be executed as investors did not come forward for those, he said. However, the sources told The Tribune that the Smart City Dharamsala project failed to achieve its goals as its basic structure was compromised. As per the original proposal, the state and Union Government were to share the expenditure of the project on 50-50 basis. Later, the Himachal Government expressed its inability and sought its contribution to be reduced to 10 per cent. The Centre did not accept the state proposal.

As per the basic structure of the Smart City project, all the decisions were to be taken at the local level. Division Commissioner Dharamsala was the Chairman of the Smart City Dharamsala company and the Commissioner of Dharamsala MC was the managing director. However, during the previous BJP government, the entire structure of the project was changed. The Department of Town and Country Planning issued orders that decisions regarding all tenders above Rs 10 crore would be taken by the Minister for Town and Country Planning. The Chief Secretary of the state was made the chairman of the Dharamsala Smart City company and secretaries of other departments were made the members. This slowed down the decision-making process, highly placed sources told The Tribune.

Sources here said that out of Rs 631 crore to be spent on the project, Rs 50 crore have to be given by the state government and the remaining Rs 581 crore by the Union Government. While projects worth Rs 550 crore have already been completed or are under construction in Dharamsala, the remaining Rs 81 crore are still to come from the Centre and the state.

Meanwhile in the Smart City project in Shimla, the proposed outlay of Rs 2,905 crore has been shrunk to Rs 706 crore. An official said that the scope had to be reduced because of NGT restrictions on construction of buildings, issues related to forest land and clearances and restriction on construction within the core area of the city. But Tikender Panwar, who was MC Deputy Mayor when the project came to the city, alleged the project had been “distorted”. Many projects not part of the original plan have been inserted and several original projects have been thrown out.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Lalit Mohan

Quelle/Source: The Tribune, 19.03.2023

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