- P Sivasankar, Commissioner, Kolhapur Municipal Corporation
Known as Dakshin Kashi from ancient times, Kolhapur is a famous religious and commerce centre in Maharashtra and enjoys archaeological importance owing to the ancient temple of Mahalaxmi.
It is home to several heritage sites, the conservation of which has been crucial for the city. Further, its city surveillance project has made headlines, and efforts are being made towards easing traffic congestion, managing waste and treating water. Indeed, though it is not on India´s smart list, the city seems to be making several smart moves. P Sivasankar, Commissioner, Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC), shares more on these developments and tenders to be floated in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
Tell us about key developments in Kolhapur.
Last year, we completed the Uttam Nagar road project and renovated the Keshavrao Bhosle Natyagruha Road. We have started the Shahu Samajik Sanstha Development and have given the government a proposal for the redevelopment of the Mahalaxmi Temple premises. We are also planning some BOT developments of commercial complexes in the city. A DPR is being prepared for the same and we are planning to float tenders for the project. This is a Kolhapur Municipal Corporation area and we are floating tenders to invite the private sector to construct these commercial complexes.
Is the corporation planning flyovers in the city?
The city faces the challenge of traffic congestion; to ease this, we are planning four to five flyovers. At present, we have only proposed the project, for which we require funds of Rs 30-40 crore for each project. Further development depends on the availability of funds.
From the smart city perspective, are you planning any projects for the city?
Last year, we initiated the city surveillance project. The government and the corporation conducted a giant survey based on which 65 locations were identified within the city. The installations are running well, and we are now proposing Phase-II of the city surveillance project, which is in the DPR stage. Phase-II will include installations of around 120 cameras. The cost of the overall surveillance plan is around Rs 39 crore.
The Corporation is planning to appoint a panel of experts to undertake conservation of heritage sites. Please tell us more.
We have identified about 47 sites as heritage sites in the city. The state government has made note of these and appointed a heritage committee to look after the renovations. We want to further appoint a consultant, which will take one month. We are planning this under the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) with the KMC´s own funds. Once the consultancy does its survey, it will estimate the amount. It will take three to four months to float tenders.
Also, the corporation has proposed a waste-to-energy plant at an 8-acre dumping site...
We have given the work order for the BOT project to Green Kolhapur Energy, and this is under construction. It is expected to be completed by May-June 2017. At present, around 170-180 tonne of waste is generated in the city, which is directly transported to a dumping ground. The waste-to-energy plant we are developing will help us convert this waste into energy.
You are using the geographic information system (GIS) to manage roads. Please elaborate.
We are proposing one consultant to survey all the roads. With GIS, we will have an idea about the most damaged roads and recently constructed ones. We are also using this technology for the overall development plan of the city.
For city development, the state government is providing some GIS software, while for the road system, we are acquiring it through a tendering process. First, we will appoint a consultant, who will prepare the DPR, following which tenders will be floated within the next two months.
The corporation is also planning to replace old drainage pipes with new ones....
This has been proposed under the AMRUT scheme, and the DPR has been prepared. In Phase-I, we have taken only the diversion of sewage waste to our STP plant. In Phase-II, we will undertake 100 per cent replacement of the underground drainage system.
What about plans to construct concrete mix roads?
For concrete mix roads, there is a technical problem for which we do not have a solution. We are looking for technological intervention. Once we build the roads, it is difficult to change underground utilities such as power and water pipelines. Also, it is different to construct these roads and we do not know how to go about it. However, to execute the same, we are studying cities such as Mumbai and Pune.
The corporation has undertaken several reforms to ease the process of permissions...
From January 1, 2017, we have started the single-window system. What was distributed to ward officers earlier is now a single window in the DP office. As per the new development control rule, we have to change the old software. The government is preparing new software that we are going to use. So, within one to two months, we will have a centralised online system, which will monitor the permission given for the building and the timeframe within which this is being granted. The aim is to speed up building permissions within 60 days as per the norms set by the state government and the RTS.
What is the annual amount budgeted for the city?
Last year, our budget was Rs 1,050 crore, of which our internal revenue was Rs 225 crore. But we are executing a Rs 488 crore water supply project and are taking other grants on loan as development projects. So, internal generation, this year, may touch Rs 300 crore.
What is your vision for Kolhapur and is there a dream project you are working towards?
The main problem in the city is traffic decongestion in the town plan areas. We want to decongest this traffic, develop proper parking facilities and construct flyover systems where necessary. We also want to implement some commercial BOT projects on the corporation´s land, so that the corporation can earn some money as well.
Kolhapur Municipal Corporation
Total city area: 66.82 sq km
Population: 889,879 (Census 2011)
Year of establishment: Kolhapur municipality was established on October 12, 1854.
On December 15, 1972, the municipal council was converted into corporation.
Annual budget: (As per annual revised budget for 2015-16 and new budget for 2016-17) proposed `1,158 crore (including revenue, capital and special projects)
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