Madurai

Heated discussions at SCAF meeting

A Smart City Advisory Forum meeting held on Madurai Corporation premises on Tuesday.  

Smart Cities projects are being executed in the city without any consultations with the elected representatives and without adherence to proper guidelines, causing severe inconvenience to the residents of the city, said Madurai MP and Co-Chairman of Smart City Advisory Forum (SCAF) Su. Venkatesan, here on Tuesday.

He was addressing the mediapersons, along with Madurai Central MLA P.T.R.P. Thiagarajan and Madurai East MLA P. Moorthy, at the end of the SCAF meeting, which was convened for the first time on Tuesday.

Collector T. Anbalagan, who is the Chairman of SCAF; Mr. Venkatesan, Co-Chairman of SCAF; Virudhunagar MP B. Manickam Tagore, Mr. Thiagarajan, Mr. Moorthy, Madurai North MLA V.V. Rajan Chellappa, who were members of SCAF; Madurai Corporation Commissioner S. Visakan and City Engineer S. Arasu attended the meeting.

Although Madurai was included under the Smart Cities Mission in 2016-17, no SCAF meetings were conducted all these years, said Mr. Venkatesan. He said that the issue of not convening SCAF meetings was discussed during the District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee (DISHA) meetings held in February and September last and the civic body was instructed to convene a meeting within a month, which did not happen.

Alleging that the Collector and the civic body officials were refusing to convene a meeting, the MP had called for a meeting on January 18. Following this, the Collector had convened a meeting on Tuesday.

Elaborating on the issues identified in the implementation of Smart Cities projects, Mr. Venkatesan said that completion of the Periyar bus stand and shopping complex project would worsen traffic congestion.

“The shopping complex has more number of shops which will increase the vehicular movement at the complex. Hence, it was instructed to reduce the number of shops in the complex to one-third of the proposed plan,” he said.

Madurai Central MLA said that the ‘smart road’ work that was being executed on Masi streets was an example of ‘complete engineering failure’. “The work undertaken has worsened waterlogging on Masi streets,” he said.

Around 90% of the projects have been completed and the mistakes cannot be rectified. “But, at least the remaining works can be undertaken without causing much inconvenience to the public. Hence, the Corporation officials have been instructed to complete the remaining works on Masi streets in a phased manner,” he said.

Mr. Venkatesan said that the civic body was instructed to get consultations from the INTACH on executing the heritage components of the smart cities projects. Since only private companies were engaged in evaluating the quality control of the smart cities projects, it was directed to engage government companies for the quality control.

The Corporation officials claim that most of the projects would be completed by March is not possible, said Mr. Thiagarajan. While many smart cities have saved money after executing their projects, the Corporation officials said that they will not be able to save money after executing the projects in the city, he added.

“Even if ₹ 10 crore is saved after completion of projects, the money can be directed for developing Corporation schools,” he added.

Madurai East MLA said that no residence in the added wards must be left out while executing the underground drainage project under the Smart Cities Mission.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:19:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/heated-discussions-at-scaf-meeting/article33611873.ece

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