State departments stalled Smart City projects, Goa government tells Centre, ET RealEstate

August 26, 2023

PANAJI: From delays in obtaining permissions to awaiting approvals from key government departments, projects taken up in Panaji as part of the Smart City Mission are struggling to meet their deadlines.

According to data released by the Union government, 49 projects worth Rs 1,053.8 crore were taken up in the city, of which just over half have been completed. The data shows that 23 projects worth Rs 669.9 crore have yet to be completed.

Take for example, the Rs 6.3 crore project to create smart parking at Miramar, which has been delayed as PWD, which is executing the project, has failed to get “necessary approvals” for the smart infrastructure, including electric vehicle charging points.

“Delay by the public works department (executing agency) in taking necessary approvals for installing and commissioning smart elements such as smart electric poles, EV charging stations, etc, has delayed the project,” the state government has told the Union ministry for housing and urban affairs.

Similarly, Goa has informed the Centre about delays in getting NOCs from the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), forest department, and tourism department for the Rs 40.9 crore Mandovi promenade.

This project aims to create a pedestrian walkway from Miramar beach to the ESG complex, but is stalled as a prominent resort at Miramar has blocked the work. The state claims it is awaiting an NOC from the resort.

Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited has also informed the Centre that the Rs 41.1 crore project to rejuvenate the St Inez nullah, which began in September 2021, is behind schedule due to the delay in obtaining NOCs from property owners adjacent to the creek.

This project is supposed to be completed by October this year, but the department has found it difficult to access the site, the Centre has been informed.

Some of the big-ticket projects being executed in the city such as the Rs 145.8 crore project to lay new electrical, water supply, and sewage lines, as well as smart walkways, will be completed only in March 2024, though the work order was issued in December 2021.

The data also shows that ongoing projects in Ribandar will be completed in the first quarter of 2024, suggesting that commuters and locals will get no respite from the dug-up roads till then. The period of implementation of the Smart City Mission has been extended to June 2024, and all smart cities are expected to complete their projects within the stipulated time, the Union ministry has said.

  • Published On Aug 21, 2023 at 02:00 PM IST

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