Panaji council studies successful ‘smart city’ proposals

PANAJI: Preparing for the fast track round, the Panaji Smart City core team has begun to study successful smart city proposals submitted by other cities to try and improve Panaji’s smart city proposal. The newly elected Corporation of the city of Panaji (CCP) council met on Monday to understand and deliberate over the Panaji smart city mission project.

“We have started the process to evaluate the SCP (smart city proposal) of other cities. We are looking at how other cities have prepared their proposals, how they have linked funding for transportation, urban mobility, solid waste management,” commissioner Sanjit Rodrigues said.

Given that St Cruz MLA Atanasio Monserrate had promised to shift the proposed solid waste garbage treatment plant from Bainguinim to Taleigao, the councilors deliberated over the issue during the meeting. “I have told the MLA of Panaji to call a meeting with all the stakeholders. We must come together to decide on Taleigao or Bainguinim. I am open to all options,” mayor Surendra Furtado said.

ICLEI South Asia gave the councillors a brief overview of the smart city project along with the concerns raised by the Union ministry of urban development. A public consultation with all stakeholders will be held on March 22 followed by a meeting of the council on March 23. Once all suggestions have been received, a council meeting will be held on March 30 to approve the draft proposal. Once the council approves the revised smart city proposal for Panaji, the plan will be sent to the state- level high-powered committee for its approval on March 31.

During the meeting, several councilors raised concerns over the implications over the smart city proposal. First-time councilor Soraya Pinto Makhija sought to know if local taxes would be raised to fund the smart city proposal. “The state government will fund CCP’s share, but maintenance of the infrastructure has to be funded by CCP and a provision has to be made in the budget for it,” Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues informed the councilors that the central government had sanctioned funds under the Amrut mission out of which 30 crore would be contributed by the Centre and an equivalent sum by the state government.

Credits ET Realty

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