Projects delayed, Karnal not ‘smart’ yet

Projects delayed, Karnal not ‘smart’ yet


By: Amit Kumar
KARNAL: Even after two and half years, the Karnal smart city project is moving at a snail’s pace. As many as 57 projects were proposed under the mission, but only five projects, worth Rs 20.50 crore, have been completed so far. Many mega projects like Mughal Canal phase-2 and 3 markets, multi-storey commercial building with parking at the site of the old municipal corporation office building, the Karnal agri-tech pavilion with parking facility at the old vegetable market, upgrading public health care facilities, smart sewage management system and smart parking system are still pending.
The delay in the commencement of the smart city project is leading to resentment among residents.
Karnal was included in the list of cities to be developed as smart cities on June 23, 2017. Under the scheme, at least 40 projects worth Rs 1,022.08 crore were kept under the area-based development on 720 acre and 17 projects worth of Rs 149 crore under the pan-city solutions.
According to the project, each city was to get Rs 200 crore annually for development works. The source said as of now, only Rs 110 crore has been released to Karnal Smart City Limited (KSCL) by the Centre (Rs 60 crore) and the state government (Rs 50 crore ) as KSCL authority failed to hand over the utilisation certificate to the higher authority.
Since its inclusion in the ambitious scheme, only five projects, which was under convergence including light and fountains at Karan Park at a cost of 0.84cr, musical fountain (1.25cr), city surveillance (9.51 cr) and city bus services (1.34cr) and convention hall (7.56cr) have been completed so far. The other big projects are still at the tendering stage and some are under implementation.
According to sources, 10 projects, including integrated command and control centre (ICCC), smart education, beautification of novelty road, open-air gym & meditation area, cycle tracks, docking stations and smart utility, are being implemented.
But the most awaited project, the development of Mughal Canal phase-II and III market, is hanging fire as the government has asked the authorities of the KSCL to re-design the blueprint. Similarly, commercial space and a multiplex building project at the old KMC office has been cancelled as shopkeepers were unhappy over the drawings of the project. The projects like the development of central business district (CBD), upgrading public health care facilities in the city, smart sewage management system, smart parking system and others are yet to be initiated.
Tarlochan Singh, former Haryana Minority Commission chairman and Congress functionary said Karnal has a long way to go to become a smart city. “The roads are in very poor condition, long traffic jams, lack of cleanliness and stray cattle menace have become a huge problem for the city residents,” he added.
Nishant Kumar Yadav, deputy commissioner of Karnal said, “Some of the projects have been dropped due to changes in requirements as well as enhancement of costs. Still, we are making sure all public representatives and other stakeholders are also kept in the loop.”
Rajiv Mehta, CEO, KSCL, could not be contacted despite several attempts.





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