Millennium Post

Pradhan calls for speeding up of Rourkela smart city project

Pradhan calls for speeding up of Rourkela smart city project

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought the intervention of both the Centre and Odisha Government for accelerating Rourkela Smart City project saying only Rs 22.23 crore of the Rs 376 crore sanctioned for the work has so far been spent.

In separate letters to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the Petroleum and Steel Minister voiced disappointment at the tardy progress in Rourkela Smart City project work.

Pradhan said the smart city project was envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a technology-driven fast-track development project for upcoming urban centres across India to bring them at par with world-class cities in the 21st century.

"It is a matter of pride that Odisha can count two cities in this marquee programme - Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.

As one of the first industrial urban centres in India, Rourkela stands to gain massively from the holistic development enshrined in the Smart City model," he said.

However, Rourkela's progress in the Smart City Project is a matter of great concern, Pradhan said.

As per information received from Public Information Officer of Rourkela Smart City Ltd (RSL) in response to an RTI query, it is understood that the Government of India and Government of Odisha have sanctioned a total of Rs 376 crore (Rs 188 crore each) to RSL from 2015-16 to 2017-18, he said.

"I am disappointed to note that the total expenditure incurred by RSL thus far is only Rs 22.23 crore of which Rs 16.37 crore have been spent towards consultancy fees and salaries," the minister said.

It is unfortunate that four years after the sanction of grants from the Central and state government, RSL has not been able to show significant progress in the project," Pradhan said in his letter dated September 25.

"Keeping in mind the welfare of the citizens of Rourkela, I request your personal intervention in expediting the resolution for speeding up the progress of the Rourkela Smart City Project," he urged both Patnaik and Puri.



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