Mangalore is the largest city and administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada district, and one of the most multicultural non-metro cities in India. Besides being the largest city in the coastal and Malnad regions of Karnataka, it is also a commercial, industrial, educational and healthcare hub on the western coast. Further, located on the Arabian Sea, it remains a major port. The city has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed under the government's Smart Cities mission. 'There is tremendous opportunity for developers to undertake various works in the city,' says Mohammed Nazeer, Commissioner, Mangaluru City Corporation, as he elaborates upon developments and projects in conversation with SERAPHINA D'SOUZA.
Please brief us on current smart city initiatives.
As per the Smart City proposal, Mangalore has a total of 65 projects with an investment of about Rs 2,000 crore. Under the area-based development (ABD) component, we have 38 projects, which covers about 650 hectare under the Mangaluru City Corporation. The investment in ABD proposals is about Rs 1,707 crore. The rest of the 27 projects are pan-city projects, worth about Rs 293 crore. Under Smart City funding, Rs 1,000 crore is from the Central and state governments. The proposal consists of PPP projects worth Rs 500 crore. The balance amount will be met as convergence from projects of the Karnataka Government and the Government of India.
Tell us more about the important smart projects in the city.
One main project under the pan city proposal is the command and control centre; the DPR is already prepared and we will be floating the tenders within 15-20 days once we get administrative clearance.
Under the smart road projects of Rs 550 crore, we have taken one major road as a demo project.
For this smart road, the DPR has already been approved for Rs 7.56 crore. We will be floating the tenders within a week as we now speak. Basically, before starting any new concrete road, we want to replace the existing underground drainage (which is old) of the respective road. The survey works are in progress. After designs and incorporating all the works, we will go for new concrete roads. Another project of a multilevel car park along with commercial facilities is proposed for 215,000 sq ft under PPP, amounting to Rs 130 crore.
The RFP is already prepared and submitted; we will float the tender after we get administrative and technical approval. Further, a DPR has been prepared for solar rooftops for all government buildings coming under ABD and rainwater harvesting for all government and private buildings over 1,000 sq ft. Also, one of the biggest PPP projects is the replacement of conventional lights with LED lights. The DPR is under preparation and is almost in the final stage. Besides these, there are projects such as redevelopment of the existing central market building under PPP of Rs 506 crore. Other projects include the redevelopment of the fisheries harbour and the old port and smart buses with e-toilet and Wi-Fi.
What is the vision for Mangaluru Smart City?
Our main vision for the city is to improve the quality of life by providing smart roads that are safe, pedestrian-friendly, and the creation of an active and accessible riverfront. Most of our roads are concrete roads. These roads will be redeveloped as per the guidelines of the Smart City mission without disturbing the good concrete layer, and we will be filling any existing gaps for converting these into smart roads. Our major focus is to improve the accessibility to the old port and fisheries harbour to generate more employment.
We will also use town planning schemes with public participation for the waterfront development and marina development.
Take me through the big-ticket projects that you see as good opportunities for contractors?
Other than the smart city projects, we are also undertaking three to four other major projects. Among these, one of the major proposals is the transport hub with commercial complex development in PPP mode, where we are decentralising and shifting the old bus stand away from the core area. The cost of the project will be approximately Rs 400-450 crore, which will be a big opportunity for developers and builders. The design has been finalised and we will float the tender after receiving administrative approval. The multi-level car parking with commercial complex and redevelopment of the existing central market building in PPP mode under the Smart City project will also give tremendous opportunites to developers. For redevelopment of the existing central market project, the concept plan is prepared and the DPR is under preparation.
What are your plans for Housing for All?
Housing for All is outside the limits of the smart city because it is not covered under ABD. We have already called tenders for one project of 930 housing units, with the unit cost for each house at about Rs 5 lakh. The units are planned as many blocks. Also, a DPR has been prepared for another 600 units and we are waiting for administrative approval. This project too is an excellent opportunity for developers.
Further, please tell us about the core infrastructure projects planned.
Other than the smart city funds, we have our own municipal fund; the concept, known as premium FAR, only exists in Mangalore and Bengaluru. From this, we have collected nearly Rs 150 crore. Under this scheme, we are undertaking about 85 works, for which DPRs have already been prepared and some tenders called for. There are also some small works such as junction development and big works of about Rs 5-6 crore.
Tell us about the city's contribution towards the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Here, we are No. 2 in Karnataka; our city is clean. All the households have individual toilets. We are already undertaking waste management and door-to-door collection; we have a better solidwaste processing unit with a capacity of nearly 200-250 tonne that produces two to three types of manure. One of the methods we use is vermin-composting along with others. The solid waste management (SWM) seven-year tender contract has been given to Anthony Waste from Mumbai, which maintains and uses its own 100-130 vehicles and compactors for door-to-door collection. We have not used any funds from the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan fund, except for some individual household toilets and for awareness activities. Further, we have a demo waste-to-energy project, for which we have a landfill site and we are ready to take it forward if someone comes to us with a proper plan.
Tell us more about efforts taken by the corporation to maintain the city's heritage.
We have some heritage structures and are trying to maintain them. Under smart city, we have taken up two or three projects to maintain old structures. There is an old DC office building that was constructed in 1799; we are planning to convert this into a museum.
What challenges do you face in the city's development and how do you propose to overcome them?
Compared to other cities, Mangalore is a formed city, not a planned one. There is space constraint and it is difficult to acquire land; so the roads are narrow compared to Bengaluru or Mysuru. For the development and widening of roads, we have not paid anything for any land acquisition. It is with TDR (transferable development rights) that we are procuring land for road widening. Also, the topography is not favourable for planned development as it is a hilly area. It is a big challenge to do any water supply or underground drainage project.
What is the city's annual planned budget? How much of this comes from the corporation, Centre, state and other sources?
The overall budget for the city for 2017-18 is Rs 650 crore, of which Rs 180 crore is our own municipal fund, the main source being from advertisement, property, water supply and waste management taxes. Other than that, we get nearly Rs 350-400 crore from the Central and state governments from different schemes such as AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, etc. Under the Smart City budget, we will get Rs 100 crore annually from the Central and state governments.
So, for the next five years, we will receive Rs 500 crore each from both governments.
Total city area: 135 sq km
Population: 4.98 lakh (as per 2011 census)
Year of establishment: 1980
City corporation: 60 wards, 60 corporators
Annual budget: Rs.650 crore
Smart city budget: Rs.200 crore
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