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Funds unavailability halts smart city development

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Bhubaneswar: With just one month left before the state capital’s first anniversary of getting smart city status, ground zero study meanwhile gives a grim picture as nothing significant has transpired over the last year.

Even after a period of 12 months, no developmental projects have been done with the joint effort of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Developmental Authority(BDA). Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited(BSCL) at Bhawani Mall in the city with the selected officials has also been established.

But the smart city project still hangs in balance with the non-availability of required funds through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode. With an assurance of getting Rs 2000 crore from PPP mode, BSCL is yet to receive a penny through the same. Similarly there was an estimate of getting assistance of Rs 9 crore from the Japan government and Rs 210 crores from Asian Development Bank(ADB), no such green signal has been seen from the same authorities.

With all such hurdles, all the proposed smart city projects are lying stand still. However, with the available resources, Additional Chief Secretary has advised BMC to start the project of Railway Station Multi- Model Hub (RSMMH) among other projects under the Bhubaneswar smart city projects.  With an estimate of Rs 20 crores towards developing the RSMMH project, earlier ADB had assured for financial support for the completion of project.

But with no positive response from the same, the project with the approval of the state government has been planned to be initiated. Now, BDA has assured to bear 15 percent of the cost from its CDP Infrastructure Development Fund (CIDF). The remaining amount has been planned to be collected as advance from the business houses interested to have their offices in the proposed building premises.

Some other smart city projects include six Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects for which a budget of Rs 1009 crores has been outlaid, with an annual maintenance cost of Rs 9.0 crores for one year and Rs 77.84 crore for ten years. The RSMMH being one of the projects under the TOD projects, the government is now making every effort towards the initiation and implementation of the particular project.

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