Smart City deadline to be extended for Kochi

CSML authorities were finding it difficult to implement most of the projects under the scheme.

Smart City- Constrofacilitator

KOCHI: The Smart City finishing date has been extended by a year for Kochi. From March 2020 the new deadline is March 2021. The top officials from the ministry of housing and urban affairs have assured the officials.

The decision was taken at a meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram recently to review the progress of Smart City projects in the state and to provide a breather to Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) authorities to implement ambitious projects like renovation of Ernakulam market and Broadway.

CSML authorities were finding it difficult to implement most of the projects under the scheme. In fact, the work on most of them was yet to begin.

APM Mohammed Hanish, managing director, CSML said that at the review meeting, Durga Shankar Mishra, secretary, ministry of housing and urban affairs, assured that Kochi will get five years for implementing the Smart City component projects, with the countdown beginning from the year the Smart City status has been given to the city. Kochi received SmartCity status in January 2016. So according to the calculation by 2021 the project needs to be completed.  

The deadline may be extended to another two more months to March 2021, the end of the financial year, he said.

Hanish said projects to the tune of Rs 700 crores have been awarded and another series of projects worth Rs 400 crores were at various stages of tendering. Hence there should not be able to complete projects worth Rs 1,100 crores by January 2021. Projects worth a total of Rs 1,300 crores have been proposed under the Smart City programme. Actions will be taken to fasten other procedures for completing the projects worth the remaining Rs 200 crores as well before the deadline gets over.

The projects which have been facing inordinate delays are the renovation of the Ernakulam market at a cost of Rs 100 crore and the Broadway renovation, worth Rs 10 crore.

The market renovation project has got bogged down in issues related to rehabilitation of merchants from the beginning. A few days ago, at a meeting convened by Hibi Eden, MP, it was decided that more than 200 merchants will be rehabilitated.

Source: ET Realty