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The Union government sanctioned the Smart City Project for Dharamsala in 2015. More than three years have passed, but it is yet to get off the ground.

However, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur laid the foundation stones of various developmental projects worth Rs 145.43 crore under the Dharamsala Smart City Project. Though the foundation stones have been laid, the tender process for many projects including major investment projects such as construction of smart roads worth Rs 84 crore and construction of integrated command centre worth Rs 24 crore is yet to be initiated. Though the tender process has been initiated for other projects, it is yet to be finalised.

Dharamsala Municipal Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Kadam admitted that the tender process of many projects for which the foundation stones were laid is yet to be initiated as technical and administration approvals for the projects have been received.

Shortage of staff a major bottleneck

Shortage of staff is major bottleneck for implementation of the Dharamsala Smart City Project. Sources said there were about 50 sanctioned posts under the Smart City Dharamsala project. These include 24 posts of engineers and administrative staff that were to be posted here on deputation from other government departments and 26 posts of peons and computer experts that were to be recruited directly.

However, the government has managed to post just eight employees on deputation in the Smart City Dharamsala project so far. Under direct recruitment, just four peons have been recruited in the project and the remaining posts are vacant. Overall, there were just 12 employees working in the Smart City Dharamsala Project against the sanctioned posts of 50.

Projects likely to take off in near future...

  • GIS web portal to provide online visibility to citizens on various services available in Smart City Dharamsala to improve local governance and delivery of local services being developed at a cost of Rs 1.29 crore.
  • e-Nagarpalika and smart beacon being developed at a cost of Rs 1.17 crore and a website at a cost of Rs 35 lakh to create an integrated web application for citizens to use IT primarily to increase information quality, overall efficiency and effectiveness in government process. 
  • Rooftop solar power plant of Dharamsala will be completed at a cost Rs 1.59 crore. 
  • Smart road, intelligent barrier, free bus shelters, parks and play grounds and inclusive streets and some other projects have been planned, tenders for which are likely to be finalised in the near future.
  • The CM also laid the foundation stone of root zone treatment of sewerage and state-of-the-art potable tap water that would be brought up at a cost of Rs 3.51 crore and Rs 5.49 crore, respectively. The root treatment plant involves technology of cleaning water by roots of specialised plants.
  • In order to construct and improvise the inner streets of the Smart City inclusive streets have been planned at a cost of Rs 6.82 crore.
  • One of major projects that will involve heavy investment include construction integrated command control centre building to be constructed at a cost of Rs 24.44 crore, which will house the data centre, command and control centre, Mayor’s office and administrative office.  
  • The other planned projects include intelligent and barrier-free bus shelter to be equipped with passengers’ information system, real-time information and surveillance cameras, and smart information kiosks to be constructed at a cost of Rs 9.37 crore.
  • Theme parks will be developed in the Smart City along with services such as yoga places and pedestrian tracks. Three parks and two placemakings would be developed at a cost of Rs 3.77 crore.
  • Smart classrooms for Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Dharamsala, and other government schools in the area will be constructed at a cost Rs 3.55 crore. As many as smart 65 classrooms would be developed in 10 government schools in Dharamsala Smart City. 
  • Smart roads will be constructed by spending an amount of Rs 84.04 crore. Under this project, 28 numbers of different roads ensuring a total 32.63 kilometres will be developed as smart roads.

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

Quelle/Source: The Tribune, 26.01.2019

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