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The pace of the Smart City project launched in 2016 has been extremely slow. With only 2.2 per cent of the work declared as complete in the past six years, the majority of the works are still pending, it is learnt. Faridabad was among the 100 cities in the country that were selected for the project in 2015-16. It was launched with the proposed budget of Rs 2,600 crore.

Out of 45 works announced under the project, 44 are lying incomplete, reveal sources in the district administration, claiming that the total period allotted for the completion of the project was five years. The only work that stands completed is the comprehensive mobility plan for the city that cost Rs 1.07 crore, and work on the other schemes is still on, claim sources in the Faridabad Smart City Limited (FSCL). This has also been corroborated in the statement by the Urban Local Bodies Minister, Kamal Gupta, in the recently concluded winter session of the state assembly.

According to the reply given in response to a query raised by MLA Neeraj Sharma of the NIT Assembly segment here, the projects that are yet to be completed include Integrated Command and Control Centre, development of virtual tour application, construction of 26.1 km long road, manholes and covering of drains, wall art and paintings, landscaping of the Court road, 10 MLD sewage treatment plant (STP) at Badkhal, rejuvenation of Badkhal Lake, restoration and development of water bodies, parks, civic infrastructure in Fatehpur Chandila and Sant Nagar, multilevel car parking at Old Sabzi Mandi, construction of e-toilets, beautification of five intersections of the National Highway, rainwater harvesting projects in public buildings, open air gyms, supervising control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for water distribution, shelters for stray dogs and construction of eight new STPs.

“The project has failed to provide relief to residents as majority of the localities are grappling with damaged roads, choked sewerage, insufficient water supply, improper garbage disposal, lack of cleanliness and acute pollution,” says AK Gaur, a social activist. MLA Neeraj Sharma claims that mismanagement and corruption had made hundreds of crores of taxpayers’ money go down the drain.

“Though the state and the Union government have already released their share of funds, the FSCL has received only Rs 600 crore for the project, says Arvind Kumar, DGM, FSCL. He said the total budget sanctioned had only been 928.97 crore. Several factors, including technical issues, payment clearances, pandemic and the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) had come in the way of the execution of the project. Out of 2,600 crore, a total of 1,600 crore was to be generated by the civic body, it is claimed.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Bijendra Ahlawat

Quelle/Source: The Tribune, 14.01.2023

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