8 Yrs On, Smart City Still In Pipeline, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

September 20, 2023

BHOPAL: Eight years into its mission, Bhopal smart city development corporation limited (BSCDCL) is focused on land monetisation in the process of making it self-sustainable. Though BSCDCL has leveraged estimated Rs 300 crore from sale of plots in Area Based Development (ABD), the smart city project remains a distant dream.

Over the years, the encroachment in TT Nagar has gone up as the evicted government housing land has given way to slums. The smart city project with 20,000 plus LED lights in city did not reach the area. For two years, almost a km long street near tourism development property has street poles but no light. BSCDCL refuses to entertain the issue, as it has given the responsibility to BMC.

BSCDCL released green and blue master plan after opposition to smart city development in Shivaji Nagar. The claim was that 50% of the ABD will be green. Hundreds of trees, some over 70 to 100 metre high, were chopped by BSCDCL in core development area. The plots remain vacant. “We are compliant with green norms,” said Benal. Not calming enough for the eyes of city residents, the green cover was made to bear the brunt of a better development. Till now, BSCDCL has leveraged estimated Rs 300 crore from sale of plots in ABD area. It accounts to about 30% of the 42 plots that have peaked the interest of developers, builders, investor and agencies with interests in real estate projects. Post pandemic, sale of plot has not been without its own controversy. Also, more visible projects like multi-level parking, garbage transfer stations, traffic management, streetlights etc have been offloaded to other agencies by BSCDCL. It was pan city development, pursued to complete politically correct announcements ahead of last assembly elections. Then, BSCDCL was lush with funds. Five-year mission phase has long been completed.

BSCDCL’s controversial intervention in land acquisition was an issue in the last assembly elections. Incumbent BJP candidate lost the seat. The project, which was to be completed in two years, was inaugurated ahead of 2018 state election. Another state election is around the corner and empty skyscrapers dominate the skyline. The vicinity was to become illustration of smart development. Not close.

  • Published On Sep 20, 2023 at 11:00 AM IST

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