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SPV to be set up soon for smart city project

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The Hindu        06.07.2017   

SPV to be set up soon for smart city project

Landmark skyline:A view of Tiruchi cityPhoto: A. Muralitharan  

It is mandatory for implementing the project

The Tiruchi City Corporation has begun the process of forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for executing the Smart City project.

As per the policy documents of Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry of Urban Development, it is mandatory to float a SPV for implementing the project from planning to execution. It will plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate the smart city development projects.

The SPV will have a full time Chief Executive Officer with the nominees of State and Central governments, and it has to be registered with the Companies Act. Besides using the government grants for infrastructure building, the SPV will have powers to raise private equity and funds for the projects. These could be executed through joint ventures, subsidiaries and public-private partnership.

It is learnt that senior officials of Tiruchi Corporation visited Chennai on Tuesday for a discussion with the senior officials of the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration to evolve the modalities for forming the Special Purpose Vehicle.

N. Ravichandran, Commissioner cum Special Officer, Tiruchi Corporation, told The Hindu that he had received a detailed instruction manual for forming SPV. Steps had been initiated to register the SPV under the Companies Act.

A senior IAS officer would be the Chairman of SPV. Tiruchi Corporation Commissioner would be the Managing Director. The Central Government would also nominate a person for it. Similarly, a number of persons, who were directly associated with the Corporation, would be made as members.

Mr. Ravichandran said a clear picture on formation of SPV would emerge within a two weeks. Formation of SPV would be completed within July. A seven sq km area in and around Rockfort temple would be the focus of area development plan of the Smart City project. It would address all issues including traffic congestion, parking, open drainages, roads and others. Chathiram Bus Stand and Gandhi Market would also be remodelled.

The Government had asked to re-modify the Smart City proposal with some changes. The re-modified plan would be submitted to the State government within 15 days.


‘Plenty to learn from other cities’

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The Hindu       08.06.2017   

‘Plenty to learn from other cities’

Residents unhappy with civic amenities; suggest a variety of other models

Lack of water, poor waste management, and a surge in traffic mar Chennai’s record in urban development. “The slums in Kannagi Nagar have been built on a waterbody. The area was inundated during the floods in 2015 because of the incompetence of the Corporation. The city’s developmental projects are 20 years behind time,” says Chandramohan, secretary of Arappor Iyakkam (AI), an NGO.

The organisation recently released a report stating that the city generates 1,500 million litres of sewage a day (MLD), a figure that is three times more than what is stated by Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB).

Kaiona Chhatrapati, a student in Noida, says Chennai can learn from other cities. “Despite pollution being worse in Noida, the Corporation there has better waste management practices,” she says. Citing the example of Chandigarh, Seenivasan Varadachar, a businessman who has lived in the city for over 28 years, notes it is well planned and green. “ The parking lots are spacious and there is little traffic congestion. Chennai’s traffic is rising and security is an issue nowadays,” he adds.

Obtaining documents

Residents like Uma Gurumurthy, who have lived in several tier II cities such as Coimbatore and Dhanbad, feel that it is easier to obtain government documents such as marriage and building registrations in such towns. “The volume of transactions is lesser. Building registrations come through in two months. Unless one knows higher officials in Chennai, we don’t receive papers,” she says.

Education is one of the factors that many residents feel is a plus point for Chennai. With students of the city notching up consistent performances in competitive exams, educators feel that primary schooling is also on a strong footing. “Active reforms are in place with respect to primary education in Chennai. The use of Activity Based Learning in classrooms has provided greater results,” says Shivaranjani R., a fellow at Teach For India.

( With inputs from Kavya Balaji)


Corporation to rope in students

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The Hindu        24.05.2017  

Corporation to rope in students

Coimbatore Corporation has decided to invite students to intern in the Swachh Bharat programme.

Corporation Commissioner K. Vijayakarthikeyan said that the plan to invite students was at a very preliminary stage and that the civic body was yet to even send out letter of internship offers to colleges.

Only based on the response from colleges, students would the civic body decide on the numbers it needed, quantum of stipend, if any, to be paid and where to fit in the students.

But the broad objective was to use the students as an interface between the public - the civic could use them to create awareness among the public on the Swachh Bharat mobile app, elicit problems in the ward, and get feedback on action taken.

Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan, however, clarified that that the initiative was not suggested by the Union Government.

Notice served

Coimbatore Corporation has served notices on a few engineers for dereliction of duty.

Sources said that five of them involved in the model roads project had shown poor results.

Soon after starting the work on D.B. Road, the civic body did not show progress.

The sources also said that the corporation had reminded a few utility service providers to pay the money to shift their lines/wires/poles/boxes so as to implement the model roads project.


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