Speed Up Rourkela Smart City Project, Dharmendra Pradhan Urges Odisha CM, Union MoS

Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday shot off a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri urging their personal intervention in expediting the Rourkela Smart City (RSL) project in Odisha.

“Rourkela’s progress in the Smart City Project is a matter of great concern, Pradhan wrote, adding, it is unfortunate that four years since the sanction of grants from the Central and the State Government, the authorities have not been able to show significant progress in the project.

Pradhan said that the information obtained through an RTI query revealed that the Centre and Odisha government have sanctioned a total of Rs 376 crores (Rs 188 crores each) to Rourkela Smart City Limited (RSL) between 2015-16 and 2017-18 for the project. However, of the total sanctioned funds, only Rs 22.23 crores has been spent by the RSL for the project so far of which Rs 16.37 crores have been spent towards consultancy fees and salaries only.

“The Smart City Project was envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a technology-driven fast-track development project for upcoming urban centres across India to bring them at par with world-class cities in the 21st century. It is a matter of pride that Odisha can count two cities in this marquee programme – Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. As one of the first industrial urban centres in India, Rourkela stands to gain massively from the holistic development enshrined in the Smart City model,” Pradhan wrote.