Govt releases Rs 136 cr for Smart City Mission

Jammu and Kashmir administration has released Rs 136 crore as central share for the development of Srinagar and Jammu as smart cities under the central government’s ambitious Smart City Mission.

“Sanction is hereby accorded to the release of Rs 136 crore as central share in favour of Mission Director Smart City Mission as part of release of balance amount of 1st instalment of project funds for the development of Srinagar and Jammu cities under the Smart City Mission,” reads an order issued by the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta.

As per official figures of total Rs 136 crore, 68 crores each have been released for Jammu and Srinagar Smart city mission, taking the total releases made so far to J&K to Rs 252 crore.

The Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015 for the development of 100 Smart Cities across the country. Under the Mission, which is an innovative and new initiative aimed at driving economic growth and improving the quality of life of people, both the capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir were selected by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in the third round of competition held in the month of June 2017.

On Feb 4, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha called for executing the ambitious Smart City projects in Jammu and Kashmir expeditiously.

The Lt Governor was chairing a high level meeting of Administrative Secretaries, experts on Smart City Projects and other stakeholders at Civil Secretariat.

Stressing on timely completion of the Smart City Projects, Sinha passed specific directions to the concerned officers for completion of the projects within the set timelines without any delay.

The Lt Governor called for exploring every possibility to achieve the desired results and asked the concerned officers of Smart City projects in J&K to apply the learning gained from the experience of the officers of Smart City Ahmedabad Development Ltd during the implementation phase for various Smart City initiatives.

As per the guidelines of the Smart Cities Mission, the Housing and Urban Development Department of J&K was required to set up Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), engage Project Management Consultants (PMCs), hire necessary human resources, call tenders and issue work orders within a period of 12 to 18 months.

As per the timeline fixed by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the cities which were selected in the third round are required to complete all the projects between 2020-21 and 2021-22.