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Srinagar Smart City project yet to take off

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Srinagar, Mar 11: The Srinagar Smart City Project is yet to take off, as the government has not taken a call on hiring a Project Management Consultant (PMC) for help in implementing the Rs 3,800-crore project.
The PMC was supposed to “design, develop, manage and implement” for the execution of the Smart City Project.
In June 2017, the Union Ministry of Urban Development announced the development of Srinagar and Jammu cities under ‘Smart City Mission’.
Under the SCM, the government had invited tenders from the eligible firms for implementation of the mega project.
As per the officials only one company had come forward whose fate was to be decided by the government.
The CEO Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), Farooq Lone, who also holds additional charge of CEO Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL), had earlier told The Kashmir Monitor that “in event of a single bidder, it is the higher authorities that take the call”.
The CEO had also claimed that by the end of the March, both the PMC and the required staff for SSCL would be in place.
In January, the SSCL had started taking applications for hiring Statistical Planning Officer and other staff members.
They were supposed to work in tandem with PMC.
However, a visit to the office of SSCL and ERA at Rambagh proved the opposite. There were no staff members or officials to talk to.
On inquiring about the staff, the shopkeepers adjacent to the empty office said that “only two officials work alongside the CEO. But they are out of station”.
Despite calling repeatedly on his number for several days, the CEO remained tight-lipped on the project implementation.