VARANASI APPOINTS REPL, GRANT THORNTON & ABN CONSULTING AS CONSULTANTS FOR SMART CITY PROJECT
Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) has appointed a consortium of three project management consultants namely Rudrabhishek Enterprises (REPL), Grant Thornton and ABN Consulting for the implementation of smart city project in the city.
The agreement, signed last week in Varanasi by the municipal commissioner Hari Pratap Sahi, will involve consultants to prepare detailed project reports (DPR) on various components such as water supply & sewerage systems, intelligent traffic management, smart security system, heritage conservation, tourism promotion activities, etc.
“The Varanasi Smart City is certainly going to be uniquely challenging for us. While keeping the core essence of the city intact, we have to make the city smart, so that it becomes a model for replication,” said Pradeep Misra, chairman and managing director, REPL. The company has also been a consultant for Indore and Bhopal smart cities.
An approach of area based development (ABD) will be taken up in the Varanasi Smart City, along with the pan-city solutions. The plan, spreading over a total of 1,389 acres, will include retrofitting of old city along river Ganga comprising of major temples, heritage sites & cultural places with emphasis on socio-economic growth.
Varanasi finally bagged the coveted smart city tag in September last year when the government announced the names of 27 more cities in the second round under its flagship ‘100 Smart Cities’ mission.
The government has so far announced the names of 60 cities to be made smart in the country.
A total of 45 cities have participated in the third round of Smart City challenge, of which 40 will be selected to be developed as smart cities. The names of these 40 new cities, expected to be announced by June end, will take the total smart cities count to 100.
The government has earmarked Rs 48,000 crore for the development of these cities. Each selected city will be given Rs 500 crore over a period of five years by the Centre with the respective states expected to make the matching contribution.
The ministry of urban development is also preparing a report card on its Smart City mission as the scheme is set to complete two years of its launch this June.
It is compiling data under various heads, like the number of projects completed and those being implemented.