Bhubaneswar, Sep 26 (IANS) Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought the intervention of the Centre and the Odisha government for speeding up the Rourkela Smart City project.
In two separate letters to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Pradhan said that only Rs 22.23 crore of the Rs 376 crore sanctioned for the project has been spent so far.
The letters were released to the media on Thursday.
While Rourkela stands to gain massively from the holistic development enshrined in the Smart City model, the progress in the smart city project is a matter of great concern, said Pradhan.
“It is a matter of pride that Odisha can count two cities in this marquee programme — Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. As one of the first industrial urban centres in India, Rourkela stands to gain massively from the holistic development enshrined in the Smart City model,” he said.
As per the information received from the Public Information Officer of the Rourkela Smart City Ltd (RSL) in response to an RTI query, it is understood that the Centre and the state government have sanctioned a total of Rs 376 crore (Rs 188 crore each) to RSL between 2015-16 and 2017-18, Pradhan said.
“I am disappointed to note that the total expenditure incurred by RSL thus far is only Rs 22.23 crore of which Rs 16.37 crore have been spent towards consultancy fees and salaries,” he added.
Pradhan said it is unfortunate that four years after the sanction of grants, RSL has not been able to show significant progress in the project.