Guwahati, Sunday, March 17, 2019
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Rs 84 lakh being spent per year to run Smart City project office
City Correspondent
 GUWAHATI, March 16 - Though Guwahati is far behind in becoming a smart city, the authorities are spending approximately Rs 84 lakh per year to run the office set up to implement the Guwahati Smart City project.

This was revealed by the Guwahati Smart City Ltd (GSCL), in reply to an RTI application filed by this correspondent.

According to the reply, the monthly average expenditure of the office includes salary for staff, office rent, electricity bill, office maintenance, etc.

A total of Rs 191 crore has been released till now by the Central government to implement the Guwahati Smart City project, and the expenditure is being spent from this fund, the RTI reply added.

Meanwhile, according to a source, the GSCL, in a recently held meeting of its board of directors, cancelled a proposal to develop the Borsola Beel under its area based development project.

The GSCL decided to hand over the project to the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA). Along with project, the meeting also decided to hand over construction of foot overbridge projects, the Jur Pukhuri rejuvenation project and construction of Gandhi Mandap slope protection and welcome gate project to the GMDA.

On the other hand, the board of directors decided to request the Department of Environment and Forest to take up the development of the watch tower site at the Deepor Beel, and the project will be funded by GSCL itself.

According to the source, the GSCL took the decision after the environment and forest department raised objections over the project. Despite its repeated failure in implementing most of the projects adopted earlier, the GSCL has now decided to prepare an expression of interest to implement the Smart Pole technology in a public-private-partnership mode across the city to provide Wi-Fi access and other allied services to citizens.

It will also carry out beautification drives with paintings on the walls and installation of art work in strategic and visible locations of Guwahati.

According to the source, GSCL will also examine the feasibility of implementing rooftop solar installations in the manner implemented by Vadodara Smart City Development Ltd.

The source said that till now, the GSCL has spent Rs 24 crore in implementation of various projects, whereas its current all India rank is 26.

The RTI reply further stated that till January 2019, GSCL has earned Rs 1,09,685 as revenue from the bio-toilets and water ATMs set up in various locations of Guwahati.

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