Sikkim chief minister P.S. Tamang (Golay) on Sunday inspected various works being undertaken under the smart city development project in Gangtok and suggested some changes and modifications at some places while expressing happiness at the overall progress of the work.
Golay, accompanied by Sikkim’s urban development minister Arun Upreti, started his inspection from MG Marg and visited various sites, including the upcoming Kanchenjunga Square, the multi-level car parking-cum-shopping complex at Old STNM Hospital.
Senior officials of the state government-owned Gangtok Smart City Development Limited (GSCDL), which is executing the project, briefed the chief minister on the nature and progress of the work during the site inspection.
“I was satisfied with the progress and have directed the officials to make specific changes and modifications at several spots. We will also conduct a meeting in the coming days to address the concerns of Smart City Development Limited,” he later posted on his Facebook post.
The Gangtok smart city project is part of the Union ministry for urban development’s pan-India Smart City Mission to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of smart solutions.
The funds for the project are provided mainly by the Centre and respective state governments or urban local bodies. However, the GSCDL has so far received about half of the committed Rs 500 crore from the Centre, and only Rs 5 crore from the state. “We are expecting the next tranche of the central fund soon and the state’s share in the next budget,” a senior GSCDL official told The Telegraph.
The work on the Rs 2,284 cr ore project started in June 2018 and is expected to be completed by June 23 next year. “We have so far completed three works, 13 more are under various stages of progress and tender for another 23 will be issued soon,” said the official.
A number of works from improvement of feeder roads and footpaths to construction of multi-level car parking-cum-shopping complexes have been taken up as part of the smart city project. Work on retrofitting and redevelopment of Tsuklakhang Complex, the palace of the erstwhile Chogyal or king of Sikkim, is on the verge of completion.
However, work on the construction of the second multi-level car parking-cum-shopping complex near old West Point School was recently stayed by the Nation Green Tribunal in the wake of concerns raised that the project not only violates government rules, but also poses a threat to both human lives and the ecology.