A flyover in Rourkela. Picture by Uttam Kumar Pal
Bhubaneswar, May 5: Time is ticking away and Rourkela Municipal Corporation is not yet ready to fight in the second round of smart city challenge.
The ministry of urban development has opened the second round of smart city challenge on April 1 and fixed June 30 as deadline for submission of revised project proposal. The ministry has decided to announce the name of 40 cities in August.
With no consulting firms showing interest to help the municipal corporation to prepare its revised smart city proposal, the civic body has now sought help from the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA).
After being dropped from the first smart city list, Rourkela was asked to submit a revised proposal. The state housing and urban development department, subsequently, invited request for proposal from empanelled consulting firms of the Union ministry of urban development in February. However, no one has showed interest so far.
In a bid to overcome the problem, the state government in an official communication asked the BDA to help Rourkela to prepare the revised proposal.
A committee has been formed under BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar that will assist the city. Earlier, Rourkela had submitted the proposal that needs financial assistance of Rs 2,314 crore for execution.
"Feedback Infra Private Limited, Happold Engineers India Private Limited and Cisco Systems had helped Rourkela in preparing the smart city proposal in the first round. As the city failed to make it to the first list, it has been asked to again submit the proposal to the ministry of urban development by June 30," said an official of housing and urban development department.
"We had invited proposals from firms to help Rourkela prepare the project report, but none showed up. Therefore, we have decided to engage our own officials of BDA and in-house consulting firms for preparation of the proposal," the official said.
However, chances of Rourkela figuring in the second list is bleak, as the Union government has made it clear that priority would be given to the states that were left out in the first round.
Rourkela had scored 51.53 per cent when the cut-off percentage was 55.47 for the selection of first 20 smart cities from among 97 potential cities.
In the current situation, if Rourkela fails to submit its proposal by June 30, it may lose the opportunity to become one of the smart cities.
The Union ministry is stressing hard on 23 other cities, including Chandigarh, Raipur and Varanasi, for up-gradation in fast track manner as none of them met the benchmark set by the winning cities.