Ludhiana: The allocation of Rs 500 crore for projects under Smart City Mission in cities like Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar in the annual budget of the state government has kindled hopes for speedy implementation of projects in industrial town.
More than two years have passed since when Ludhiana was ranked at 19th position among first 20 smart cities and during these years, MC received only Rs 32 crore out of Rs 194 crore (during SAD-BJP regime) which was released by the Union government in the first year.
The pace of Smart City projects remained slow due to the long process of getting permissions for the projects and paucity of funds. As of now, they have commissioned single project of installation of rooftop solar panels on MC buildings. The project of LED street lights is going to start soon.
One of the officials claimed since the state government did not utilize the entire amount and submitted the utilization certificate, the Union government did not release the second installment. He said now when the state is ready to pay its share, then Centre would too allocate more funds which will boost the project work.
Chief executive officer of Ludhiana Smart City Limited-cum-MC commissioner Jaskiran Singh said, “We have already raised the demand for more funds from the state government for Smart City projects and we have been assured there will be no scarcity of funds. Since Ludhiana was among first top 20 smart cities of the country, we are far ahead of Amritsar and Jalandhar in terms of projects.”
A city-based architect and one of members of board of directors of Ludhiana Smart City Limited Sanjay Goel hailed the decision, saying that it is better late than never and it will help increase the speed of works under Smart City Mission.
He said in the coming months, the Union government will release another installment of Rs 100 crore for smart cities and if the state will also pay its share, then it will prove beneficial for the city.
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