With most of the Smart City Mission projects dragging beyond their deadline, the Tiruchi Corporation authorities are seeking to expedite the projects and complete the pending projects by March 2023.
While the civic body is confident of completing seven projects before the deadline, the commissioning of a few projects such as the commercial complex in Puthur within a month appears challenging.
The Corporation is expediting the construction of a multi-level car parking facility on WB Road, a fish and meat market in Gandhi market, a Heritage park on Butterworth Road and the commercial complex in Puthur among others. “Works are in full swing, and the preliminary painting work on the multi-level car parking has been completed,” said a senior Corporation official.
Officials said that the contractors have been instructed to expedite the civil work since the funding may cease beyond the deadline. In order to complete the project, Corporation has already suspended a floor each on the multi-level car parking on WB Road and Puthur commercial complex.
Though most of the projects were supposed to be completed by 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic, cost escalation of raw materials and fund crunch were cited as the reasons for poor progress.
According to the officials, the fish and meat market with cold storage facility is nearing completion, and the Heritage park will be commissioned soon. The other pending projects include a light and sound show in Teppakulam, a multi-level car parking on Kaliammankoil street and a vegetable market near EB Road.
Meanwhile, work on the knowledge centres coming up respectively in Palakkarai and Cantonment is almost completed and will be commissioned at the beginning of March. The completed projects include the renovation of the Chathiram bus stand, the construction of a shopping complex in Thillai Nagar, the STEM park in Srirangam, and the reconstruction of the truck terminal on EB Road.
Though the civic body expressed confidence about completing most of the remaining works by March 2023, residents have raised doubts about whether the projects could be commissioned before the fund lapses.
“Most of the projects are dragging beyond the deadline, and the timely commissioning seems to be challenging as funding under the Smart Cities scheme would cease by March,” said N. Jamaludeen, a resident.