Shimoga, also known as Shivamogga, is a large city and the district headquarters of Shivamogga district in the central part of Karnataka. Situated 569 m above sea level and gateway to the hilly region of the Western Ghats, the city lies on the banks of Tunga River and is popularly nicknamed ‘Gateway of Malnad’. What’s more, Shimoga has been selected in the third round of the cities to be developed as ‘smart’ under the government’s smart cities mission. Charulata Somal, Managing Director, Shivamogga Smart City Corporation, and Commissioner, Shimoga City Corporation, shares more on the projects and initiatives being implemented in the city in conversation with SERAPHINA D’SOUZA.
Tell us about projects under the smart cities programme.
We have selected about 74 projects to be taken up under smart city. Of these 60 are SCM funded, six projects are taken up in PPP and eight under convergence, which is other departments executing the work under the ambit of the smart cities mission. These eight projects are ongoing and are completely funded by the state government. Under the smart cities mission, we have selected projects at a total cost of Rs 11.84 billion; these are under various stages of project preparation or execution or tendering.
What is the vision for Shimoga Smart City?
We are aiming at sustainable development centred around the themes of water and environment, following our mission statement ‘Ecological transformation through green Urbanism’. We want to improve existing infrastructure in area-based development (ABD), which we expect to be replicated in other areas in due course. Once we establish well-developed infrastructure, we aim to replicate it in other areas with corporation funds. For road projects that we have taken up, we aim to have all the utilities such as power cables, water supply lines, sewer lines, TV cables, etc, underground. Further, for roads with smaller width, we are planning to integrate the level of the footpath with that of the cover slab of the drain, so that it can be used for vehicular movement in the middle and the sides can be used for parking as well as cycling.
Tell us about proposals in terms of DPRs being prepared or tenders floated.
We recently floated tenders to the tune of Rs 2 billion, for which we are soon awarding work orders. Besides, we recently called for bids for the second time for two road packages worth Rs 1.4 billion and Rs 700 million each, with the last date for submission being December 22, 2018. Apart from these, several DPRs are being prepared. We have projects to the tune of Rs 4.44 billion for which DPRs are under preparation; the tenders for these will be announced in the coming two to three months. These include works for conservation of buildings for which we are preparing the concept; road works for last-mile connectivity and Ring Road improvement at about Rs 900 million. Also, we will be tendering works for riverfront development – the frontline project of the smart city programme – at an estimated Rs 1.4 billion for the civil engineering component. Other projects include heritage works, with certain focal points of importance like the Shivappanaika Palace (known as Heritage Walk), which actually depicts the heritage of Shimoga city. So, we be developing about a 2-km stretch of roads – face-lifting existing roads as well as taking all the utilities underground – around these heritage places. The heritage works include a hard component such as the physical structure and a soft component wherein an app will provide an audio guide at important points while passing through the road. We are planning to tender out all the works for this before March.
What other core infrastructure projects are planned for the city?
We have a project in the pipeline for an integrated command and control centre (ICCC) at Rs 460 million, wherein all the smart solutions will be integrated. This has already been tendered; we will finalise the tender soon and work will start rolling out. Apart from this, we will be constructing e-toilets at about 61 locations.
Is the city planning any projects to construct multilevel parking to address traffic issues?
We are proposing a multilevel car parking facility. We recently had a stakeholders’ meet and got their consent for the land. We are trying to prepare a DPR for this. In about a month or so, we will come up with a multilevel car parking facility at about Rs 200-250 million.
What about installing LED lights, IoT or safety related works?
Replacement of all existing street lights with LED lamps comes under PPP. The total estimate for our reference is about Rs 316.9 million, for which the RFP was floated in the last week of December.
What are the city’s efforts towards effective waste management?
We are aiming to augment the door-to-door collection efficiency by strengthening the system and by deploying ICT-based solutions to improve the solid waste collection. Under the ICCC to be established, ICT-enabled solid waste management is one of the key components, in which QR codes will be generated and waste collection monitored through the QR readers handed over to field workers. Tracking of the waste collection vehicles, fitted with load sensors by GPS-enabled route mapping and the real-time monitoring of these at waste disposal sites, are the key features under this component.
Also, we have taken up water supply distribution under the convergence projects. Under convergence, we have taken up floriculture organic farming, 24 x 7 water supply scheme, public toilets, farm water drains with AMRUT, underground electrical cables under model subdivision scheme of Mescom and slum redevelopment. These are part of the Smart Cities mission as well as convergence because part of the costs will be borne by the beneficiary as well as the PMA. All these projects amount to about Rs 2.57 billion. Apart from slum redevelopment, all other works have already commenced.
What is the annual budget planned for the city?
For smart city, it is Rs 2 billion a year; Rs 1 billion each from the Centre and the state. Under PPP, any project undertaken will be funded by the public partner.
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