Smart city projects yet to take off in Rourkela of Odisha

Almost 15 months after selection of Rourkela for the Smart City Mission and one year after formation of the Rourkela Smart City Ltd (RSCL), a Special Purpose Vehicle for its implementation,

Published: 25th December 2017 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2017 10:49 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

ROURKELA: Almost 15 months after selection of Rourkela for the Smart City Mission and one year after formation of the Rourkela Smart City Ltd (RSCL), a Special Purpose Vehicle for its implementation, the Steel City is yet to witness visible development on the ground.The RSCL has been toying with ideas of ambitious projects to improve quality of the city, make Rourkela self-reliant, ensure inclusive and sustainable growth with best infrastructure. Rourkela was included in the Mission on September 20, 2016 and the SPV was formed on December 21 with the State Government, Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) and Rourkela Development Authority (RDA) as the shareholders. It envisages a spending of `2,571 crore over five years towards Smart City projects.

RSCL sources said two consultants - Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India - have been taken on board for Project Management Services (PMS) including planning, designing, implementing and monitoring the Rourkela Smart City projects.They said focused areas include economic diversification, improved living environment, sustainable infrastructure, promotion of tribal culture and citizen centric Governance, adding extensive works are underway.

The flagship projects are redevelopments of three old market areas, construction of a state-of-the-art skill development centre and a 1,000 capacity auditorium with all modern amenities. Under area-based development, 1,241 acres would be taken for retrofitting. The ambitious Brahmani Riverfront Project envisages development of exciting world class features to attract local and outside tourists. To ease traffic congestion, there would be two multi-layer car parking places, dedicated cycle tracks and no vehicle zones and many more. 

Similarly, Green Rourkela Project envisages development parks, LED street lighting systems and tapping solar power as alternate energy to curb carbon footprints. Surakshit Rourkela project includes electronic surveillance with special thrust on women’s safety and security, while Paribahan project aims at effective traffic management, GPS tagging of buses and information displaying at bus stops. 

Other projects include uninterrupted power and water supplies, rain water harvesting, slum area development, smart classrooms for schools, introduction of telemedicine, solid waste management system and environmental monitoring. The sources said detailed project reports (DPRs) have been prepared for some projects, while layout designs of infrastructure works are in final stages and others are under survey to tendering stages.

Recently, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan accompanied by Principal Secretary to Finance TK Pandey and Housing and Urban Development Secretary G Mathi Vathanan reviewed the progress of these projects during a RSCL’s meeting.Speaking to mediapersons, Balakrishnan attributed the delay in implementation of projects to vacancies at all levels and hoped the situation would improve shortly.

Development plans
Under area-based development, 1,241 acres would be taken for retrofitting
Focused areas include economic diversification, improved living environment, sustainable infrastructure, promotion of tribal culture and citizen centric Governance
It envisages a spending of D2,571 crore over five years 
Flagship projects are Brahmani Riverfront development, Green Rourkela and Paribahan

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