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Push to meet smart deadlines

Bhubaneswar: Chief secretary A.P. Padhi reviewed the status of the smart city projects on Wednesday at the secretariat and directed the executing agencies to expedite the process of implementation.

At present, two types of projects are planned for the city - pan city solution projects and area-based development projects. While the pan city solution projects include components such as adaptive traffic signal control system, smart solution, public-bicycle sharing and common payment card, the area-based projects include redevelopment of Janpath with state-of-the-art facilities.

"We have reviewed the projects' status and discussed on their ways for execution in a timely manner. By the first quarter of this year, we are hopeful to introduce common payment card and the bicycle-sharing programme. We will also float tenders for more such projects in the next few months," said Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited director Krishan Kumar.

Kumar said several international agencies were evincing interest in the public bicycle-sharing programme. "It is one of the ambitious projects under the smart city. The infrastructure will be developed accordingly. The major streets will have dedicated cycle tracks and docking stations," said the director.

During the review meeting, it was revealed that out of 29 envisioned projects, 20 projects were now under field-level execution in various phases, and the tender for five other projects had been floated. After feasibility study, the tendering papers for balance projects will be prepared.

In another development, chief minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the status of the city bus modernisation plan of Bhubaneswar on Wednesday and directed the officials to execute major components of the plan before the commencement of the Men's Hockey World Cup scheduled in November.

In the meeting, it was decided to introduce 200 city buses by November, which would increase the current number of buses to 310. The officials have also decided to repair 110 buses. In the later phase, the authorities will introduce 92 air-conditioned electric buses on a 30km stretch of the city.

The transport department will spent Rs 125 crore for the project in the first phase. A dedicated smart phone application, which will provide real-time information on buses and routes to the citizens. Moreover, two bus depots will also be developed in the first phase for the additional buses.

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