GUWAHATI, June 5 - The Guwahati Smart City Project, which was started in 2016, is yet to make any significant progress in the city. The project has been delayed due to various factors, the prime one being the frequent changes in the Managing Director�s post in the Guwahati Smart City Limited (GSCL).
Since its inception in 2016, the State government has appointed as many as eight senior officials as the MD of GSCL. Apart from the current MD Prashant Dhanda, the other seven bureaucrats who had served in the post are Manvendra Pratap Singh, Ashutosh Agnihotri, M Angamuthu, Rupak Kumar Mazumder, Siddhartha Singh and Moloy Bora.
It is noteworthy that all these officials are well-known in the State for their administrative and managerial efficiency. But, at the GSCL, they had the opportunity to serve as its MD only for a few months.
Sources in the State government stated that the project is yet to get the expected success only because of the lack of farsightedness among the policymakers.
�The project is yet to make any expected progress because the State government has failed to provide the scope of work to its senior officials. The frequent transfer of the MD has always been a reason behind the delay,� sources said.
Other cities of the country that were selected by the Centre to develop as Smart Cities have already done a commendable job in implementation of their respective projects. But, in Guwahati, the government is yet to spend the allocated fund, due to which the national ranking of the GSCL has also come down drastically.
Recently, the Gauhati High Court also expressed discontent over the intangible utilisation of funds to the tune of Rs 400 crore meant for the Guwahati Smart City Project.
�We are pained at recording that although money in the sum of Rs 400 crores approximately has been made available to Guwahati Smart City Limited, however, since 2017-2018, no effective work has been done,� the court observed in its order passed recently in response to a PIL.
The High Court also directed the present MD of GSCL to file a point-wise affidavit vis-�-vis several questions related to receipt of grant, available fund and status report on the master system integrated project.
The Court also asked the MD to state in the affidavit as to which is the quickest transparent mode of inviting a service provider for making Guwahati a Smart City.
�We have also asked the MD to give us inputs as to which cities in the country have been converted into Smart Cities and how are they graded in quality? Who are the service providers for these projects?� the Court order further stated.