TRICHY: After drawing flak for the slow pace of implementation of the Smart City programmes, Trichy City Corporation has left no stone unturned to roll out the new projects under Smart Cities mission in the last six months. Out of the eight major proposals announced, work on two proposals have started and two more major projects are likely to start in a week as the civic body has obtained the required approvals. However, irrespective of how futuristic the projects are, local people have sought speed on the part of the authorities in the implementing the projects.
The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs in 2015 floated a plan to develop 100 smart cities. Trichy did not make it to the Smart Cities mission list in the first two rounds of selection, but it found a place in the third list of 30 cities announced in June 2017, based on the Smart City Proposals (SCP) submitted. But one year later, owing to the slackness in submitting the project proposals, mostly because of the city’s priority in Swachh Survekshan cleanliness survey, Trichy was ranked 79th among the 87 smart cities in the implementation of the Smart City projects. Acknowledging the failure, Trichy City Corporation has proposed eight major projects under the mission since June 2018, of which a few are under way and others are in the stage of obtaining approvals. A few projects are in the process of issuing work order. The proposals include the redevelopment of Chathiram bus stand, heritage tourism, Ariyamangalam biomining project, and Uyyakondan riverfront development.
“Proposals made by Trichy City Corporation were futuristic but the pace of implementation could have been better. Chathiram bus stand should be renovated at the earliest to decongest the area,” Harish Shreyas, a resident of Srirangam said. Earlier, the civic body in late 2017 constituted Tiruchirappalli Smart City Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the proposals in two categories namely pan-city and Area Based Development (ABD) projects, the latter exclusively covers about 7sqkm around the iconic Rockfort hillock.
Maintaining that the city has fared well in Smart City programme, corporation officials said that the ensuing year would give a new characteristic to the city. “There has been solid progress in all the smart city proposals in the last six months. Parks and public spots will be revamped to beautify the city,” corporation commissioner N Ravichandran said.