With the state government announcing Rs 500 crore for the upcoming smart cities of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, projects launched under the Ludhiana Smart City Mission are expected to pick up speed.
Welcoming the move, chairman of the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Punjab Chapter, Sanjay Goel, who is also one of the directors of Ludhiana Smart City Limited, said: “It is a good step. It is better late than never. I hope the projects under the Smart City Mission will pick up speed as an equal grant from the Central Government is already available.”
“We hope, the Central Government will release its annual share of Rs 100 crore more for each smart city in the coming months. The Centre and the state government are supposed to release Rs 200 crore each in the first year and Rs 100 crore each during subsequent years for a total number of five years,” said Goel.
“Now, Rs 400 crore each for Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar are enough to start development under the mission. There there are other funds of corporations,” Goel said.
The Centre had announced development of Ludhiana as a smart city in January 2016. The previous state government had released only around Rs 32 crore, of Rs 200 crore sent by the Central Government. However, the state’s share and the remaining share of the Central Government was yet to be released.
Municipal Commissioner Jaskiran Singh said: “Under the Smart City Mission, the state government is also supposed to contribute its share. Now that the government has announced in the budget that it will provide the state share, we will speed up the projects under the Smart City Mission.”
A road safety activist, Rahul Verma, said: “It is good if the state government releases its share for the Smart City projects. But, there is a dire need to pay attention to make Buddha Nullah pollution-free. The government should ensure completion of a common effluent treatment plant soon. Besides, sewage treatment plants must be upgraded to stop polluting in the nullah. The government should also ensure development of industrial areas.”
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