No funds for smart cities ?

Two years ago a bogey was stirred that the NDA Government was readying to unfold a mega project for improving the level of a large number of cities in the country so that they are given almost a new face lift. This was the smart city programme.
Somehow both the rotational capital cities of the State, namely Srinagar and Jammu could go through the competition for qualifying for a smart city award by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. In a competition Srinagar stood at No 10 and Jammu at No. 21. The State Government welcomed the move and sat down to go ahead with the task. In the  follow up action the charge of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) for Srinagar Smart City Limited and Jammu Smart City Limited was assigned to Chief Executive Officer J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) and Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation respectively. However, there was no progress as desired and a small beginning was made. In a written reply to a question asked by the MLA of Nagrota, the Deputy Chief Minister, who is also holding the charge of Urban Development, said that the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has not released the funds. He added that the Project Management Consultancy (PMC) could not be engaged despite the fact that PMC has to play an important role in giving practical shape to the project. The reason for not engaging the consultancy was that there was poor response to the tenders floated.
There is another issue that is causing disappointment to the citizens of Jammu. The sewerage project of the old city expected to cost rupees 129.24 crore and begun in 2008 is only partly competed and bulk of it remains to be completed. The Housing Minister said in the Legislative Assembly that now NBCC has projected demand of funds as per revised DPR and the same is under technical vetting with Development Commissioner Works. The execution of project has now been resumed with ending March 2018 as target date of completion. Certainly we would be very happy if the target is met and the task of sewerage is completed by the new timeline.