- Amit Kumar, ex-commissioner, Municipal Corporation Amritsar
Home to the Golden Temple, Amritsar is on the list of cities to be developed under the government's Smart Cities mission. That said, the city will receive a Rs 500-crore grant from the Centre and Rs 500 crore from the Punjab Government; the total project cost of the smart city proposal is Rs 3,431 crore. According to Amit Kumar, ex-Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Amritsar (MCA), 'The vision of ASCL is to make Amritsar an internationally-oriented, green and vibrant city with world-class infrastructure that treasures its rich cultural, historical and religious heritage as a sustainable foundation for its tourism-based economy.'He elaborates upon the city's plans in conversation with SERAPHINA D'SOUZA.
Tell us about projects initiated under the ABD and pan-city components of the mission. Area-based development (ABD) accounts for Rs 1,616.50 crore (DPR cost: Rs 20 crore). The walled city, including its periphery of Goal Bagh and Sakatri Bagh, has been selected for ABD.
Key components of ABD based on retrofitting and redevelopment of the walled city area are:
For overall city development, the pan-city proposals (amounting to Rs 1,814.40 crore with a DPR cost of Rs 25 crore) are:
Any proposals to be invited for preparing DPRs or any other? Tenders for the smart city project will be floated after the finalisation of the projects by the project management consultant. The RFP for the first phase of the Swachh Iconic Place Project is also being prepared by the MCA and tenders for that will be called shortly.
What are the city's plans under the Housing for All initiative? In this direction, we have invited applications under the Shehri Awas Yojana of the Punjab Government under different categories. These applications will be verified and processed as per the directions of the government.
Apart from the smart city projects, what core infrastructure projects have you planned? Various other developmental projects being undertaken by MCA include urban mission, the Swachh Iconic Place (SIP) project and HRIDAY. Under the HRIDAY project, 14 major roads leading to the Golden Temple are being revamped. Also, to maintain the city's heritage, MCA is undertaking the Indian Government's HRIDAY project in the city. What about tenders to be floated for installing LED lights, multilevel parking or any other works?
Under the second phase of the SIP project, there is a provision to install LED lights around the Golden Temple, for which an MoU is to be signed with HPCL. After this, tenders will be floated. Multilevel car parking and surveillance-related projects have been included in the smart city project.
What are the current developments in waste management, water and power distribution? Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, 43 new public toilets are being constructed. Further, to make the city open defecation-free, 8,181 beneficiaries have been given grants for constructing IHHL. Wherever IHHL are not possible, community toilets will be constructed. Also, some city roads are being cleaned by mechanical sweeping machines, for which, work has been allotted to Lion Services. Moreover, solid waste management in the city is being carried out by Essel Infra for collection and transportation of waste from households to the dumping site.
(The interview was conducted when Amit Kumar was the Commissioner at Municipal Corporation Amritsar)
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