Current progress of works in the city: The Smart City proposal of Agra defines another heritage precinct called Taj Improvement District (TID). It envisions retrofitting of 2,250 acre of the selected local area – Taj Mahal, and area comprising Tajganj, Agra Fort, Jama Masjid and Fatehabad road till the inner Ring Road. With an envisaged outlay of Rs 16.99 billion under ABD and Rs 4.34 billion under pan-city spread over the next five years, TID aims to revive the historic relationship of the micro commerce with the monument. The proposal revolves around mainly street improvement, beautification, decorative flyovers, murals and some facade improvements in the old city and lacks a comprehensive approach towards making provisions in conserving the heritage precinct defined in the smart city proposal.
The heritage walk (total distance: 3 km) is proposed to be conducted around the old market area comprising of the little known as well as art and culture of Agra like marble inlay, Zardosi work and flower market. The total cost of the project is Rs 31.4 million. It is aimed at enhancing the image of ‘Street Vending Zones’, entails providing facilities and a designated place for the street vendors as well as for the tourist to enhance the experience of Agra streets and food, flowers and other markets. For this project, the following locations have so far been identified: One near Amar hotel, towards Vibhav Nagar; one Vishal Mega Mart, Fatehabad road; and Basai Sabji Mandi, towards 100 ft road.
Our ‘Junctions Improvement’ project is being executed at an estimated Rs 69.7 million. The development work at all the locations includes new signages, pavement marking, median, roundabout, landscaping, signals, channeliser, and earthwork wherever required.
Also, in a bid to beautify the area around the Taj Mahal, the project of tree illumination at Taj east and west gate is in full swing, at a total cost of Rs 65.6 million. Further, the work is in full swing on streetscaping and beautification of Fatehabad road in ABD area.
As part of our project on façade improvement of select houses along Daresi Road, being executed at Rs 9.7 million, we have identified approximately 50 traditional houses, which is considered to be older than the famous Taj Mahal.
Another important project being implanted is the Solar Installation on Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) mode. Being implemented at Rs 2.654 billion, this project will lead to significant reduction of conventional fuel and help in the reduction of carbon emissions also.
Other major projects in the ABD area include providing 24 x 7 water supply integrated with SCADA systems and sewerage system, rehabilitation of all major and minor roads, and solid waste management.
Total budgeted amount towards the city’s civil infrastructure works: Agra’s smart city proposal totals to around Rs 21.33 billion , of which, Rs 13.65 billion is envisaged to be raised using smart city funds and PPP, and the remaining Rs 7.68 billion through convergence, which comprises 23 projects under smart city and 17 projects under convergence. Work orders of 15 projects have already been issued, and tenders are already in process for the other projects. As on date, approximately Rs 400 million has been spent.
- SERAPHINA D’SOUZA