It has been over three years since Faridabad was selected under the Smart City Mission but only 3 projects out of the 46 have been implemented in the city. These three projects were the construction of 10 smart toilets, transplantation of trees and construction of an open-air gymnasium in Sector 21B.
Faridabad was not taken under consideration for the first list of smart cities in 2015. But after its municipal corporation submitted a smart city proposal to the ministry of urban development, Faridabad cut part of a “fast track” selection process in May. The smart city proposal stated development projects worth Rs 2,600 crores, including a revamp of the city’s transport system, smart power meters, solar power and WiFi-enabled public spaces to name a few.
Though the detailed project reports for the two flagship projects- dedicated city-bus service and rejuvenation of Baikal Lake and surrounding areas have been approved it is yet to be implemented. Also, of the total 46 projects proposed, just 17 are in the execution stage, according to data provided by Faridabad Smart City Limited (FSCL).
Of the Rs 400 crore released for the implementation of projects under the scheme, the FSCL — a special purpose vehicle (SPV) constituted for the purpose — has utilised only Rs 62 crore. Another Rs 4 crore has been spent on administrative and other expenses, according to an RTI response by the FSCL in February.
Garima Mittal, CEO, FSCL, said that there will be noticeable changes on the ground within the next few months. The projects are being cleared on a priority basis. Mittal also added that FSCL’s primary objective was the redevelopment of Sectors 19, 20, 28, 21B and 21D, which were earmarked for “area-based development”. There are two other strategic components of the area-based development which is are retrofitting of infrastructure and green-fielding. But redevelopment is of primary focus now.
Projects which are currently in progress include an upcoming Integrated Control and Command Centre (ICCC) in Sector 20A, new water pipelines and an underground water reservoir in Sant Nagar, Sector 21, beautification of junctions, rainwater harvesting in schools and horticultural upkeep.
Mittal said that the ICCC is to be operational within a month which will include traffic management and CCTV surveillance. So that ICCC gets the required power, FSCL has also planned to ins install a 325km network of fiber optic cables across 550 locations in the city, though the project is yet to be implemented.
Another key project — setting up of continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations to map air pollution in the city — is at the tendering stage. The project is important for the city as it has 3,000 registered factories.
A detailed project report for a dedicated city bus service on the lines of Gurugram has also been approved. 90 buses in total have been proposed for the service, including 40 air-conditioned vehicles.