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As per agreement, state govt & Centre are to provide equal amount

The failure of the Himachal Government to contribute its full share of funds to the Dharamsala Smart City project may hamper development works. Information collected by The Tribune reveals that the government has contributed just Rs 47 crore to the Smart City project while the Central Government had provided Rs 245 crore.

As per the agreement for the project, the state and Central governments have to provide equal funds for the project. Sources said that the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development had been asking the state government to contribute its share of funds to the project before the Centre releases more money, which now about Rs 200 crore.

The sources said that the project had got Rs 292 crore (Rs 245 crore contributed by the Union Government and Rs 47 crore by the state government). Till July 31, Rs 241 crore had been spent under the project and around Rs 51.82 crore was left with the project authorities. Till the state or Union government provides more funds, development under the project may come to a halt, they added.

The government had earlier pleaded with the Union Government that being a special category state, Himachal should be allowed to contribute just 10 per cent to the project and the Union Government should provide 90 per cent funds. However, the Union Government turned down the plea on the ground that other states that had been sanctioned Smart City projects may also make a similar demand if Himachal was given the benefit of the special category state.

The sources said that already stressed for funds due to Covid, the state government may not contribute more towards the project.

Pradeep Thakur, Commissioner of the Dharamsala Municipal Corporation and Managing Director of the Smart City project, admitted that a matching contribution by the state government to the project was still awaited. He, however, added that after sending the utilisation certificate of the funds provided by the Union Government they were proposing more projects for approval. “We hope that the Central Government will provide more funds for the Smart City project,” he said.

Some of the works that have already been executed in Dharamsala under the Smart City project include the GIS Web Portal, website, e-Nagarpalika, underground dustbins, inclusive streets, smart classrooms, solar power plant, root zone treatment, all ability park, DC complex parking, Bhagsunag project area development and LED lights in streets.

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

Quelle/Source: The Tribune, 06.08.2021

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