Chennai: The much-hyped smart city project of the Centre is progressing at snail’s pace and is facing hurdles and administrative delay across the state, state municipal administration sources said.
The project was launched by the Centre in June 2015 after several months of preparations and initial delays. But the project across the country is still in the stage of planning or setting up of special purpose vehicle.
Pointing out that the recent appointment of Coimbatore smart city CEO has run into controversy, a senior government official said that the formation of special purpose vehicles itself is still slow at several cities that have bagged the project.
In Chennai, the corporation has formed the SPV. The SPV will convert the smart city proposal into projects through project management consultants (PMCs) and implementation thereafter, but just imagine a project taking almost three years for formulation. Both the Centre and State have to be blamed for the delay so far and the smart city is not a lone example of poor administration.
Even Sriperumpudur satellite city promoted by the union ministry of urban development and state government is another classic example for a delayed project. Projects that started under the mega city mission during 2014 are either incomplete or still pending for the reasons best know to policy-makers, the official added.
“According to government websites the smart city would address issues like adequate water supply, assured electricity supply, sanitation, including solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport. But two years have passed. Is there any improvement in Chennai?” asks Madras high court advocate K. Iyappan. To make a city a better place all you need is commitment not projects, the lawyer added.
“A smart city advisory forum is to be established at the city level for all smart cities to advise and enable collaboration among various stakeholders and will include district collector, MP, MLA, mayor, CEO of SPV, local youths, technical experts and at least one member from the area, but in TN there are no elected mayors” said a city corporation engineer....