Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Gurgaon set to be picked as one of two smart cities in Haryana

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on June 27 said the state government would develop two smart cities in Haryana if they fulfill the parameters set by the Centre. One of them is likely to be Gurgaon.

"On the basis of population, two smart cities will be developed in Haryana for which parameters have been set and a survey will be conducted in this regard by July 21," Khattar said in Rohtak. The parameters for smart cities include infrastructure, education, medical facilities, electricity and water, he said.

Sources said Gurgaon and Faridabad are in the running for the state's nomination for the India Smart Cities Challenge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Thursday. The challenge is for 100 cities across the country to compete for government funding for the smart city project.

Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) commissioner Vikas Gupta, who attended the launch of the project, said, as a first step in this challenge, state governments will nominate cities for the competition by end July.

The cities that are picked will then submit proposals on how they want to make the place "smart". The proposals will be judged by the ministry of urban development (MoUD). "The top 20 cities picked for their proposals will be selected for central government funding in the first year. The remaining cities will have a chance to compete again next year. An SPV will be formed with a chairperson, CEO, board of directors and other functionaries under the Companies Act of 2013 for execution and implementation of the project, the guidelines for which have also been issued by the MoUD," Gupta told TOI.

The SPV, which will be a limited company, will be responsible for planning, monitoring and managing operational and maintenance works associated with the project. A budget of Rs 384 crore has been earmarked for each SPV. The cost will be shared between the Centre (Rs 100 crore) and the state government along with the MCG (Rs 284 crore).

The company with complete operational freedom to execute the smart city project will be headed by a CEO selected by the MoUD for a period of three years. Either the divisional commissioner or municipal commissioner will be made the chairperson. A board of directors, including representatives from the central and state governments, urban local bodies and other independent directors, will monitor the functioning of the SPV.

Former chief town planner (Haryana) SC Kush said, "Gurgaon already has enough resources to sustain the current population, but essential improvements in sectors like power, transportation and citizen services should be made. There are several exclusive projects already planned for Gurgaon that will enable it to make the shortlist. There is the 24-hour water supply scheme being worked out by the MCG. Then, there's the intra-city bus service plan. An overhaul of the drainage system is in the works. These projects in the pipeline will ensure Gurgaon qualifies," Kush said.

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