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Montag, 20.09.2021
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No full time CEO, contract of consultants not renewed

Six years down the line and even after expiry of the first phase of five-year duration of ‘Smart City mission’ (FY 2015-16 to 2019-20), the Ludhiana city as it stands at present does not have even a semblance of being anything like it was supposed to be, though it had the distinction of being selected among the first 20 cities to be developed as smart cities under the centrally-sponsored scheme.

There is no full time Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ludhiana Smart City Limited (LSCL), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up to execute 47 odd projects conceived under the Smart City Mission, and to make the matters worse the contract of consultants, which had expired in April this year, has not been renewed under a policy decision of the state government.

With the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation having been given additional charge of the CEO of the LSCL and the work of supervision handed over to MC officials, most of the Smart City projects were, more or less, progressing at a snail’s pace and residents of the supposed ‘Smart City’ suffering due to temporary problems being created by ongoing works.

While a senior MC official indicated that though the contract of the consultant company was not renewed, some experts had been retained by the LSCL to oversee and execute the Smart City projects. There was no denying the fact that with the additional charge, the CEO as well as the MC officials given dual charge would not be able to do justice to the challenging task.

Even the data provided by the official website maintained by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for the performance of Ludhiana as Smart City is not flattering. It says that of te 47 projects, only eight have been completed at a cost of Rs 76.29 crore whereas 39 others, involving an expenditure of Rs 1550.60 crore, are in various stages of execution. In most of these, only tenders have been invited and the actual work was yet to commence.

Commenting on challenges and apparently less than desirable performance of Ludhiana in its transformation as a Smart City, Sanjay Goel, one of the directors of the LSCL, has said the first and foremost requirement to achieve desired results in this direction was professional planning and implementation by the SPV with the participation of expert professionals and aware citizens, NGOs and associations.

“Further, there must be best possible and close coordination between Centre, state and the city concerned as the majority of urban problems are same such as traffic congestion, pollution, safe drinking water, assured electricity supply, sanitation, efficient mobility, good governance, healthcare and education,” he said.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Kuldip Bhatia

Quelle/Source: The Tribune, 28.06.2021

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