Shimla MC floats Rs2,906-cr Smart City proposal
The Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) today submitted its Rs 2,906-crore Shimla smart city proposal to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). Shimla will compete with 49 other cities to get the smart city tag under the Smart Cities Mission. Prashant Sirkeck, SMC Joint Commissioner-cum-Shimla Smart Cities Mission head, submitted the proposal in Delhi today. The first 22 cities will get the smart tag and a Rs 500-crore grant from the MoUD. The SMC has proposed to construct a smart public bus transport system, widen roads and start a parking project worth Rs 1,250 crore. “Residents will be encouraged to use public transport instead of private vehicles,” said Pankaj Rai, Municipal Commissioner.
The SMC has proposed to run a mini-toy train from Sanjauli to The Ridge to improve mobility and solve traffic congestion on the Cart Road. A tunnel has been proposed between the HPTDC-run Lift and Lakkar Bazaar. As a third major priority, the SMC has proposed a redevelopment plan worth Rs 1,272 crore for the shanties of Krishanagar, Lower Bazaar, Ganj and Ram Bazaar by rebuilding the houses. “The SMC has proposed 24×7 quality water supply to residents. Besides, the entire city will have sewerage connectivity,” said Rai.
The crisscrossing jungle of overhead electricity and cable wires and the exposed water pipeline would be retrofitted in the underground ducts. For retrofitting and improvement of roads and parking infrastructure, AMRUT and Swach Bharat mission funds would be spent, said Rai. The SMC engaged 1.2 lakh citizens and 18 lakh people indirectly on the social media before it finalised the proposal. “We involved ward sabhas under all 25 councillors in all 25 municipal wards to prepare the proposal,” said Sanjay Chauhan, Mayor.
“With people’s support, we struggled for almost two years, moved the High Court, fought the state urban development ministry and finally submitted the proposal today,” said Chauhan. “We have proposed a citizen-centric smart city proposal and hope Shimla gets the smart city tag,” he added. Rai said Rs 500 crore would come from the MoUD, while Rs 500 crore would be pooled in jointly by the state government and the SMC if Shimla won the race, said Rai.