Smart city road work won’t be completed till March 2021

Work in progress on Raj Bhavan Road on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K MURALI KUMAR

Pedestrians and motorists will have to put up with roads dug up under Smart Cities Mission in and around the Central Business District (CBD) up to February-March 2021. However, the government has promised that work on Commercial Street will be completed within the first week of December while Race Course road will be ready before December 15.

Around 20 key roads in and around the CBD, including Raj Bhavan Road, had been dug up for the better part of the year much to the dismay and frustration of citizens. During an inspection on Friday, Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj acknowledged that coordination between agencies was one of the reasons for the delay, and directed Bengaluru Smart City Limited (BSCL) officials and contractors to pick up the pace of work. He said that work on Raj Bhavan Road will be completed before January 1, 2021.

“Phase A, which has seven packages, will be completed by the end of March 2021. We have had coordination issues with various departments and we are sorting them out,” Mr. Basavaraj said and added that he would meet the Chief Minister, who also is in charge of the city, regarding this issue and submit a report to him.

Mr. Basavaraj said that strict action will be taken against contractors and officials responsible if they fail to meet deadlines. “A total of ₹1,000 crore has been allotted for the Smart Cities Project in the city. We have over ₹340 crore left, and we will take up more projects soon. We have not been able to raise funds from the market, but we are working on it,” he said.

Under the Smart Cities Mission, the selected city receives ₹500 crore from the Central government and a matching grant from the State. However, the Smart City Limited will also have to raise capital from the market.

Criminal case against contractor

Acting on a complaint lodged by the Bengaluru Smart City Limited, the Commercial Street police have filed a criminal case against the contractor overseeing work on Dickenson Road for failing to meet the deadline and coordinating with officials.

“Similar action will be taken against other contractors who are not willing to work,” a senior official said.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:39:20 AM |

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