After being included in the Smart City Scheme, Rs 196 cr budget was allocated for implementation for housing Project under Smart City mission in Aurangabad. The AMC received the first installment of development funds but sat on them for one and half years, doing nothing! According to PTI news ASCDCL could spent only 85 lakh of 196 cr sanctioned for the project.
There can be no excuse this time as both professional advice and easy finance are at the disposal of the AMC. The citizens are at a loss. The old excuse of lack of funds don’t hold ground any more. What could be the reason for non-performance? Lethargy, lack of ambition or the reduced opportunities for skimming due to constant oversight from the higher-ups? We are still searching for an answer.
Only 7% of Rs. 9,860 cr released under Smart City Mission spent so far
Out of Rs 9,860 crore released to 60 cities under the Smart City Mission only seven per cent, or about Rs 645 crore, have been utilised so far, an issue which has raised concerns in the Urban Affairs Ministry.
Of the Rs 196 crore released to each of around 40 cities, Ahmedabad has spent the maximum amount of Rs 80.15 crore, followed by Indore (Rs 70.69 crore), Surat (Rs 43.41 crore) and Bhopal Rs 42.86 crore, according to a data of the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
On the other hand, the data revealed that of the sanctioned funds Andaman and Nicobar could utilise only Rs 54 lakh, Ranchi 35 lakh, and Aurangabad Rs 85 lakh.
A HUA official recently said the ministry was concerned about the “unsatisfactory” progress of the project in some of the cities. He had said that the ministry would approach the cities that are lagging behind to find out the “bottlenecks” with an aim for speedy implementation of the projects.
Among cities which got around Rs 111 crore each from the Centre, Vodadara has spent Rs 20.62 crore, Namchi in Sikkim spent Rs 6.80 crore, while Salem, Vellore and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu could utilise only Rs five lakh, Rs six lakh and Rs 19 lakh, respectively.
Ninety cities have so far been selected by the government under the smart city mission and each of them will get Rs 500 crore as central assistance for implementing various projects.
The cities are required to set up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to get funds from the Centre for the implementation of the project.
In a review meeting recently, the official said cities in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were found to be “performing well”, while those in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra needed to speed up the implementation process.
Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister of State (independent charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, had earlier this month said the impact of projects undertaken under the scheme would be visible by mid next year.
To instill competition among cities and push them for faster implementation of projects, the Centre will also present Smart City awards in June next year to well performing cities.
Reviewing the progress of the Smart City Mission on August 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the challenge before everyone was to ensure implementation and expeditious completion of the work in the 90 identified cities.