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Rourkela’s progress nowhere near milestone, stuck in tenders

Sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs say that it would be difficult for RSCL to complete the projects on time as the 34 per cent are still in tendering stage. 

Published: 18th October 2021 07:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2021 07:43 AM   |  A+A-

Rourkela

For representational purposes (Photo| EPS/Biswanath Swain)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: If Bhubaneswar’s Smart City performance is poor, Rourkela is sloppy. With projects worth only three per cent of the total value completed so far, the Steel City is one of the worst performing among those selected in the second phase of Centre’s Smart City Mission. 

Rourkela is yet to figure in the list of cities where the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) has been made operational. The project was tendered by Rourkela Smart City Limited (RSCL) last year only to be cancelled abruptly by the Special Project Vehicle (SPV) board during bid evaluation.Sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs say that it would be difficult for RSCL to complete the projects on time as the 34 per cent are still in tendering stage. 

After Bhubaneswar, Rourkela was selected in the second round of Smart City Mission. It also is the co-host of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. One of the 27 cities selected under round II of the programme, it is among the bottom five in terms of physical and financial progress, the Ministry sources pointed out.

The Phase-I of the smart road and beautification project taken up at a cost of around Rs 22 crore has not completed yet, while the Phase-II work of development of 28 roads at a cost of Rs 94 crore is still at the beginning stage.  Out of Rs 496 crore central grants supposed to be released in five years between 2016 and 2021, the city has received only Rs 196 crore. The remaining Rs 300 crore is yet to be released due to poor spending. 

In comparison, contemporaries like Salem, Madurai, Varanasi, Aurangabad, Namchi, Vellore, Agra, Tumakuri, Thanjavur and Ujjain have received funds in the range of Rs 294 crore to Rs 343 crore during the period. At Rs 15.6 crore, the average monthly expenditure of RSCL on smart city projects in last six months is marginally better compared to Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL)’s Rs 11 crore. 

However, officials pointed out that RSCL needs to double its spending on projects and increase it to at least Rs 31 crore a month to receive the remaining  Rs 300 crore central grants. The city’s current ranking among the 100 smart cities is 73 in terms of overall performance. RSCL Commissioner Dibyajyoti Parida couldn’t be reached for his comments. However, officials from the smart city limited said works have been expedited ahead of the hockey world cup. 



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