Interviews

Awadhesh Sharma /
CEO, Ujjain Smart City

Projects worth Rs 5.09 billion are in the tendering stage

March 2019
Despite being selected in round two of the Smart Cities mission, Ujjain has already been able to tender out 42 out of its 43 listed projects. Of these 42, 13 projects worth Rs 1.62 billion have been completed. The vision for Ujjain Smart City is Utkrishta, Unnat Ujjwal Ujjain—a sustainable religious tourist destination taking forward ancient heritage, providing diverse opportunities in a knowledge-based economy, and thriving on wellness and smart initiatives. Awadhesh Sharma, CEO, Ujjain Smart City (USCL), shares more on the city’s progress in conversation with SERAPHINA D’SOUZA.

What are the current initiatives under the smart cities mission and how is work progressing?
Projects worth Rs 11.90 billion are under implementation while another Rs 5.09 billion worth of projects are in the tendering stage. Further, another Rs 60 million worth of projects are in the DPR phase. Early bird projects were envisaged for immediate effectiveness to the city while more impactful projects are under implementation. A few early bird projects that had a major impact on the city include the integrated control and command centre (ICCC), smart classrooms, water ATMs, five TPD waste-to-energy bio-methanisation plants, digital centre, mobile charging kiosk at 30 locations and a vehicle tracking management system. Other keystone projects, such as smart roads, MRIDA, Ujjain Convention Centre and Ujjain Swimming Pool and Sports Complex, are under construction.

For the upcoming projects, what are the tenders to be floated in the coming months?
Under civil projects, major projects in the implementation and tendering stage include:

  • Smart road with underground ducting: The entire ABD area is proposed to be covered with 25 km of smart roads, which will include five services: sewerage, stormwater drains, underground electric cables, shaft for telecom cables, and duct for gas pipeline. The tender is a comprehensive development of road cross-section, which also includes pavement, footpaths, intersections, street lights and electricity feeder pillars. This has been awarded to Tata Projects and is in the execution phase. At an approximate cost of Rs 3.45 billion, on completion the project is expected to completely transform the urban fabric of the ABD area.
  • MRIDA (Mahakaal Rudrasagar Integrated Development Action) Plan: The selected ABD area is primarily the core city of Ujjain, which encircles the Mahakaal Temple and surrounding prominent temples. Of the 400-hectare ABD area, 40 hectare is covered by the Mahakaal Temple, Rudra Sagar Lake and the immediate surrounding area, which falls under the MRIDA Plan. Key elements of the project include a visitor plaza that will hold about 20,000 pilgrims at a time, multilevel car parking for 600 cars and 600-m heritage corridor from the plaza to the temple. The tender for the Rs 2-billion project has been awarded and construction is proposed to start soon.
  • Ujjain Convention Centre: This ambitious project will comprise a grand 1,800-sq m hall, five smaller halls, two restaurants, exhibition area and parking for 250 cars. The tender for this Rs 1.45 billion project is at finalisation stage and construction is expected to commence soon.
  • Ujjain Swimming and Sports Complex: This complex comprises an Olympic-size swimming pool, diving pool, warm-up pool and kids pool, along with a sports block for indoor sports. It will also include a gym, sauna, steam bath, restaurant, tennis court and basketball court. Expected to cost around Rs 300 million, the project is currently under construction, with 40 per cent of the work completed,
  • Multimodal Transit Hub: Dewas Bus Stand is located adjacent to Ujjain railway station, and USCL proposes to integrate the two terminals to develop an integrated Multimodal Transit Hub, under the railway station development project. The project, which will cost about Rs 860 million, will be funded through PPP and an EoI has already been floated.

Under ICT, major projects in the implementation and tendering stage include:

  • ITMS (integrated traffic management system): Nine junctions in the city along with all entry and exit points will be covered under the ITMS system; this will be connected to the ICCC for live feed and necessary action.
  • Smart poles: Proposed under the PPP model, the appointed PPP partner will install smart poles across the city that will feature cameras, Wi-Fi, sensors and a network of OFC cables. This project has been awarded to Reliance.

Apart from smart city projects, what core infrastructure projects has the corporation planned?
Ujjain Municipal Corporation (UMC) is already implementing a sewerage network in Ujjain at a cost of Rs 4.47 billion. The appointed contractor is Tata Projects and the project is at the execution stage. About 47 km of sewer network has been laid and a sewage treatment plant is under construction. UMC is also developing intersections and undertaking beautification works along the streets in the entire city.

What about the city’s plans under the Housing for All initiative?
Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, the corporation is constructing 2,006 dwelling units at five different locations. Construction at two sites of about 1,000 dwelling units has already commenced and is 50 per cent completed. Of these 2,006 dwelling units, 1,466 units are for EWS, 360 for LIG and 180 are MIG units.

Are there any projects being developed under AMRUT?   
Under AMRUT, Ujjain is developing a sewerage network. The DPR has been prepared for the ultimate year 2050, catering to a projected population of 0.9 million. It is proposed in two phases; in Phase 1, 454 km of sewer line will be laid, which will cover about 80 per cent of the developed area. At Rs 4.47 billion, the project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

What effective waste management, water or power distribution measures have been taken?
Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Ujjain has been performing in the top 20 cities, securing the 12th rank in the country in Swachh Sarvekshan 2017. Measures undertaken include segregated door-to-door collection, bin-free city, ODF city and 100 per cent scientific processing or disposal of segregated waste. Further, in the area of water supply, construction of a piped water supply network across the city is under implementation under JNNURM and nearing completion.

What challenges are you facing in the city’s development and what strategies are being employed to overcome them?
Being an old heritage city, Ujjain has dense development and narrow roads in the core city area, which attracts maximum tourists. The challenge is to develop this area without disrupting the livelihood of residents. Construction of sewerage network, underground electrification and ducting in the core city area are necessities and also the biggest challenges.

What is the annual planned budget of the Corporation, and of USCL?
The annual budget of Ujjain Municipal Corporation is about Rs 7.5 billion, while the total project cost for Ujjain Smart City is Rs 18.68 billion.