A year after the Narendra Modi government selected the first 20 cities for its Smart Cities Mission, the private sector has yet to warm up to the programme which banks on private support for big-ticket urban infrastructure projects.
Only 11 projects worth Rs 935.93 crore (USD$13 million) of the 167 projects amounting to Rs 12,000 cr (USD$1.758 billion) under public-private partnership model have taken off so far, according to urban development ministry data.
Another 21 PPP projects worth Rs 2622.23 cr are at various stages of tendering process. Half of the projects being implemented are in BJP-ruled Gujarat – two in Ahmedabad and three in Surat. Three are in Delhi and one each in Bhubaneswar, Belagavi and Pune.
The ministry has attributed the slow progress to the overall “negative environment in which the urban local bodies are viewed”. Additional secretary Sameer Sharma, who is spearheading the mission, told ET, “We consider it good progress as PPP projects take a long time in taking off.
There is a lot of groundwork that is required in these projects before the tenders can be floated.” The mission is showing better implementation in BJP states. Of the 21projects in the pipeline, 15 are in BJP states.
ARTICLE SOURCE: Times of India