Over two years after Ludhiana made it to the list of first 20 cities from the country to be developed as Smart Cities, leaving behind Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Amritsar; not a single project under Smart City has been completed. In fact, just one project has been started practically and two others may begin by end of this month.
A meeting to review Smart City projects was held on Thursday at MC Zone D office led by Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and deputy commissioner Pardeep Aggarwal. The officials of Municipal Corporation presented a status report of the projects. The meeting went on for over five hours.
Officials told MP that work to install LED street lights and digital signages is expected to start this month. Just one project- installation of solar panels on rooftops- has been practically started and would be complete by April 30.
Two other projects- retrofitting of Sarabha Nagar market worth Rs 14.89 crore and development of Malhar road (Rs 22.75 crore) as ‘smart’ road are still in the tender floating stage.
Similarly, a carcass processing and utilisation plant proposed for Rs 9 crore, retrofitting of Ghumar Mandi for Rs 25 crore and an underground parking lot on National Highway-95 for Rs 75 crore are yet to be started as their detailed project reports (DPRs) are under process.
A railway overbridge and an underbridge at Pakhowal road (Rs 75 crore approx) could not be started without approval from railways due to technical issues even as their foundation stones were laid last year.
Even as tenders have been floated for 24×7 water supply (47 crore), sewage rehabilitation (39 crore) and storm water drainage (22 crore) under Area Based Development (ABD) plan, work has not started on ground.
The DPR for construction and demolition (C&D) waste management project (6.90 crore) has to undergo revision whereas the DPR for Integrated Command Control Centre (32.50 crore) and a Digital Library (5 crore) are not even ready yet.
Similarly, DPRs are also not ready for Smart Road Phase 2 (Rotary Club Road) estimated at Rs 35 crore, cycle tracks (20 crore) and smart foot over bridges (Rs 21 crore).
Authorities have also failed to reach any conclusion for polluted stream Buddha Nullah cleaning and site selection for installation of smart dustbins.
MP Bittu said, “Despite city getting selected in first list of smart cities, projects did not get needed attention due to some unavoidable reasons. Now any laxity in work won’t be tolerated.”