Officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation are again gearing up to prepare a Smart City plan (SCP) to be submitted to the Central government by March 31. This time, officials plan to change the area-based development concept and to give a makeover to the old city area from which present-day Ghaziabad has grown.
The city has not fared well in the Smart City race so far. In the previous round in September, Ghaziabad had ranked 53 out of the 63 participating cities. From Uttar Pradesh, only Agra, Kanpur and Varanasi had made it to the list of 27 cities selected for Smart City funding. The list was released by the Union ministry of urban development.
“This time, we plan to redevelop the old city area that also has heritage value. Roads, sewerage and repainting of old buildings can be done to give it a unique, heritage look. The area has four old gates (only three are present now) and includes major market and residential areas too. Public opinion will also be solicited,” said Sanjay Chauhan, executive engineer, Ghaziabad municipal corporation.
Under their last SCP, the focus was on developmental works in new areas such as Kaushambi, Vaishali and Maharajpur under the ‘area-based plan.’ The plan also included a proposal of five stations for e-bikes near Kaushambi and Vaishali metro stations. Another proposal was of development of a 1-km green area under the 10.3-km Hindon elevated road, which is being built near the Hindon canal.
It had also proposed an ‘intelligent city platform’ with a control room for the entire city with a variety of services.
Despite the city not making it to the race the last time, state nodal officers recently apprised corporation officials that the consultant firm that had prepared the previous SCP will be again assigned the job.
“However, the firm has not responded so far. They have told us that they have not received any instructions yet. Payment to the firm was also held up after Ghaziabad was not selected in September. However, this was as per norms,” Chauhan added.
Following September’s results, mayor Ashu Verma had written to the municipal commissioner seeking to hold the nearly Rs8 lakh payment pending to the consultant. For the September round, the new consultant had prepared a SCP estimated around Rs1,897.7 crore, but the city failed to qualify.
According to officials, they have not received any communication about the points and the criteria on which Ghaziabad fared poorly in the Smart City race. The result would have given them a better idea as to where the city lost vital points and needs improvement, they added.
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