Two days to go, no takers for Smart City project

Two days to go, no takers for Smart City project
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Srinagar: The Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL), a special purpose vehicle created to execute Srinagar smart city mission, has received a cold response to the tenders it invited for Project Management Consultant (PMC) for various projects under the Smart City Mission (SCM). The PMC will design, develop, manage and implement Smart City Projects under Smart City Mission in Srinagar.
An official source told Kashmir Reader that the last date for submission of bids was November 29, which later was extended by ten more days, but not a single firm came forward to submit their proposal. The total cost of the project has been fixed at Rs 3,815.98 crore.
Despite extending the deadline, so far the SSCL has not received a single proposal from any private company for the multi-crore project, the official said and added, only two days are left now.
“Though, we don’t know what the exact reasons behind this (cold response). The major reason seems the volatile situation here that stops outside firms to work in Kashmir,” says an official within Economic Reconstruction Agency.
He said the situation might delay the implementation of this massive project, which is expected to boost commercial as well as environmental infrastructure in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Either we will extend the date or we will explore other alternatives so that the project kick starts at earliest,” he said.
Farooq Ahmad Lone, who has been given additional assignment of chief executive officer SSCL apart from heading ERA, said he expected the companies would come forward within the remaining two days.
“What usually happens is that companies approach at the last moment. Moreover, there is a lengthy process and formalities that firms have to complete and that actually consumes most of their time,” Lone said.
Initially, he said that “a good number of firms” had shown interest in the project and that they are expecting they will witness a good response from those firms in the coming days. “There is nothing that will stop firms from claiming the bids,” he said.
Smart City Mission is a Government of India supported project wherein an amount of Rs 2,774 crores has been allocated for Area Based Developments (ABD). A share of Rs 277 crore has been kept for a Pan City Proposal (PCP). The cost includes Rs 24.99 crore for Technical & Administration support expenses, such as survey and investigations, preparation of Draft Proposal Report (DPR), project management and supervision, etc.
As per the tender document, the list of projects identified for ABD are to be vetted in consultation with “stakeholders”, in regard to technical and economic feasibility, sustainability, etc. As such, the projects may change and other projects may be envisaged in consultation with the stakeholders. “However, the total cost of project should remain the same,” says the document.
The projects and sub-projects identified under Srinagar Smart City proposal in ABD section include Jhelum waterfront beautification; creation of pathways and cycle tracks along Bund Road; Improvement of Ghats along Jhelum; dredging and silt removal of Jhelum; water transport terminal – boats, shikaras, area illumination along riverbanks, embankments along riverbank; biodigestors/interceptors for sewage treatment; eco-STP for treatment of wastewater; and façade restoration of heritage buildings.
There is a rejuvenation plan for Baba Demb Lake which includes Baba Demb STP augmentation, de-silting and capacity enhancement, boardwalks, walkways and cycle tracks, landscaping and beautification of lake, temple restoration, water transport to Dal Lake, floating restaurant, fountain show (including light and sound), urban renewal of Nallah-i-Mar and Brari Nambal.
Heritage and tourism have been given special focus, with plans for Sher Garhi tourism and an interpretation centre, heritage walks, uplift of shrines, craft museum at Yarkand Sarai, a Lal Ded centre, a City Museum at Ganpatyar, and a Textile Museum.
For city beautification and urban renewal, there are plans to improve major junctions, street furniture, signages and urban art, street lights, wi-fi hubs, green corridors (including revival of parks), hawkers’ zones, smart health centres, telemedicine, sports infrastructure which includes 3 stadiums and 5 educational institutions, and seven Smart Classrooms.


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