SHILLONG, Sept 24 - Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today said in the Assembly that the Shillong Smart City project is �important and prestigious� for the State, but challenges like funding lie ahead of the implementation.
Intervening during Question Hour, Sangma said, some of the challenges to implement the project have to be taken up. He said one of the biggest challenge is to get the funding, since the funding pattern for the project is 50:50 shared between Centre and State.
He informed the House that he headed a delegation and met Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri in New Delhi and urged him to give some concession for the State as a special consideration.
The State Government is trying to get the project under the 90:10 or 80:20 funding pattern. Notwithstanding changes in the funding pattern, the State is keeping its options open and also trying to work out the State�s share of funding in the project through Public Private Partnership or Build Operate and Transfer mode.
Sangma said Centre may not be able to give a special consideration for the State, but it does realise that North East and the State in particular need special assistance and so it has given a positive response and would be supporting the State in different ways.
He went on to add that he would not like to share how Centre would assist the State as the details of the meeting with the Centre are �confidential.�
Leader of the Opposition from Congress, Mukul Sangma immediately raised objection and sought clarification from the Chief Minister that under which Rule of the House he was hiding information from the members of the Assembly.
Later, the CM retracted and clarified that talks with Centre on changing the funding pattern was at a premature stage and nothing was finalised yet and therefore giving out those details would be misleading the House.
Earlier, Minister in-charge Urban Affairs, Hamlet Dohling said, the department is in the process of constituting a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by 2nd week of October for the project.
Informing about the project, Dohling said, the project would try to reduce the traffic congestion in the city and make it green and clean.