Smart City works: GWMC draws flak

Residents express disappointment over poor amenities, delay in execution of works under the Mission

By   |  Published: 7th Sep 2020  12:07 amUpdated: 6th Sep 2020  10:58 pm

Warangal Urban: Residents of Warangal, including Kazipet, Hanamkonda towns and 42 neighbouring villages that were merged with the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC), have expressed disappointment over the poor amenities and inordinate delay in executing works under the Smart City Mission (SCM).

They also slammed negligent officials of the civic body for the state of affairs. Warangal, the second biggest city in Telangana State, was selected for development under the Smart City Mission in April 2016 by the Union government with estimated project cost of Rs 2,861 crore.

A total of 74 works at an estimated cost of Rs 2,242 crore were taken up, but only three of these works, worth Rs 551 crore – that included setting up of traffic signals at 13 junctions, creating visitor amenities at the Thousand Pillar Temple and developing a green belt near it, and water supply under AMRUT scheme – have been completed so far.

Though it was decided to prepare a detailed project report for the smart bus station in Hanamkonda, construction of sewerage treatment plants (STPs), modernisation of Kakatiya Musical Garden, solar park and multi-level parking complex as part of the project, no work has begun till date.

Speaking to Telangana Today, Dr Suresh Devath, founder president of Society for Public Welfare and Initiatives (SPWI), alleged that GWMC authorities were being secretive about funds allocated for the Smart City Mission. “They are not disclosing anything related to the funds. It is not known how much money has been released by the Centre and how much of matching grants was released by the State government. We urge MA&UD Minister KT Rama Rao to look into the issue and see that the works under the SCM are taken up and completed at the earliest,” he added.

Vice-president of Jana Vignana Vedika (JVV), Warangal Urban, Dr D Prabhakara Chary said lack of commitment among the GWMC officials was causing delay in the SCM works. Sulakshya Seva Samithi (SSS) founder president Santhosh Manduva also criticised the authorities for the delay in works and demanded that the authorities come up with a status report on the Mission.

However, GWMC Commissioner Pamela Satpathy said construction of two roads (R3 and R4) against a total of four taken up under the SCM at a cost of Rs 65 crore had been almost completed. “We have also taken up 11 internal roads at an estimated cost of Rs 70 crore in the city. Construction of four gateways at the entrances of the city at an estimated cost of Rs crore are in different stages of progress,” she said, adding that they had asked the contractors to complete the works by the end of December, 2020.

She said construction of three STPs (100 MLD at Reddypuram, 15 MLD at Pragathi Nagar and 5 MLD at Ursu Gutta) at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore would be started soon and that 13 acres of land at Reddypuram would be acquired soon.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gunda Prakash Rao said there was no dearth of funds for the SCM. “I have asked the contractors to expedite works and assured them that their bills would be paid at the earliest without delay,” he said, adding that he had also directed the officials to complete the Bhadrakali bund beautification works taken up at a cost of Rs 65 crore at the earliest. “As many as 10 works taken up as part of the Bhadrakali beautification works at a cost of Rs 29.85 crore have been completed so far,” he explained.

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