Smart City projects are yet to take off in Kochi even as some cities have already hit the road.
While Pune and Bhubaneswar have already implemented their pet projects, the Kochi project is yet to receive funds released by the State government. Though the Centre had released Rs.194 crore, the first instalment of its allotment, the State has not released a matching amount. Officials in the know of things said that paper work for the release of the government’s share was under way.
6 months lost
Though the Kochi project was among the first few Smart City initiatives to complete the formation of the Special Purpose Vehicle and to convene the first director board meeting before the March 31 and April 30 deadlines, local body and Assembly elections that followed upset the schedule. “Kochi lost around six months, as the model code of conduct came into existence, and no major decisions could be taken during the period,” Mayor Soumini Jain said.
After the new government took over, some officials were transferred. As most members of the director board of the Special Purpose Vehicle were officials who were nominated by virtue of their official responsibilities, it took time for new officials to get accustomed to the new responsibilities. “The city will compensate for the time inadvertently lost,” Ms. Jain added.