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Funds may hinder Guwahati Smart City project

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With less than 17 per cent of Central assistance to the ambitious Rs 2,400 crore Guwahati Smart City project, the Assam government today expressed doubts over implementing the plan saying it is tough to proceed without the required funds.Replying to a query by BJP MLA Bhabesh Kalita, Guwahati Development Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government had submitted a proposal of Rs 2,400 crore for implementing Smart City project in Assam capital.

“We have got approval of Rs 400 crore (from the Centre).

The Government of India has asked us to contribute Rs 400 crore as state government’s share and directed us to generate the rest through PPP mode,” Sarma said.He informed the House that out of the sanctioned central amount, Rs 300 crore had already been released.”So we have to arrange Rs 2,000 crore in total for the project. Unless we get funds by Public-Private-Partnership mode, we have to see how we are going to fulfil the Smart City project.”

“This project is tougher than what we had thought. We are now discussing how to collect this amount. People thought that as Guwahati is included in the list of Smart City projects, so lots of money will come. But this is not the case,” the minister said.Sarma said it is easier to generate investment under PPP in other cities like Bhubaneswar, Delhi or Mumbai, but not Guwahati.The government is currently focusing on how to utilise the Centre-State share of Rs 800 crore in the best possible way, he added.

Giving details of the project, Sarma said the government has invited tender for appointing the Project Management Consultancy (PMC), which is likely to be appointed within next 45 days.”After that we will see which project will be developed by government fund and which by the PPP mode. So, to have a detailed idea of the Smart City project, we need at least another three months,” he said.

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