Smart City project pipe dream?

SHILLONG, Nov 19: More than four years have passed since it was announced that Shillong will become the 100th and last city to be part of the Smart City project; but till date, it has not seen any major progress. Not even a single project under this initiative has been commissioned in Meghalaya.
Under the project, the government plans to construct smart roads and improve several junctions in different parts of the city. Only recently, a tender was floated for the project.
Altogether 15.9-km stretch of the road has been identified to be turned into “smart roads” in two phases by the Shillong Smart City Limited. The state government recently floated tender for the construction of “Smart Roads Ph-II” (10 km) and beautification of 12 junctions.
In 2020, the contract was awarded for construction of the Commercial Complex at Polo and the project was scheduled to be completed in November this year. Sadly, the project hangs fire till date. The six-floor building is planned to have a stilt with total built up area of 12,539 square metres.
The government had planned to build some parking lots in areas like Motphran and nearby areas under the Smart City project. But the fate of the plan so far remains unknown.
Apart from the Polo Commercial Complex, the government took up the re-development work of Municipal Market at Laitumkhrah. The contract was awarded in 2020. Construction work for this project, however, is going on.
The total floor area is likely to be increased by 200% and the car parking spaces to be increased by 150%, in a bid to achieve better utilisation of land area.
It may be mentioned that thirty-four projects will be initiated in the state capital under the Shillong Smart City Project (SSCP) and the total cost of the projects will be Rs 1,040 crore. The Smart City Mission was one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s key electoral promises in 2014. The scheme, launched in June 25, 2015, aims to develop 100 cities across the country, making them citizen-friendly and sustainable.

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