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Kohima Smart City project to miss completion date


Kohima, June 25: With the delay of 2-years in commencement of the ground works for Kohima Smart City project, the Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) and Kohima Smart City Development (KSCD) Ltd is running short of time to achieve the target of converting the capital city into a smart city.
Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, was selected under the Smart City project of the Central government on September 20, 2016 during the second round of the competition while the actual project implementation commenced only from October 2018.
The ambitious five-year project worth nearly Rs 2000 crore is being implemented on 50:50 share between the Centre and the State government. Till date the Central government has already released Rs 111 crore while the State government has only released Rs 2 crore, informed Administrator of Kohima Municipal Council, Kovi Meyase while addressing media persons here Tuesday. Meyase is also the Chief Executive Officer of Kohima Smart City Development Limited.
On the delay in commencement of the project, Meyase said initially the State was unable to appoint Project Management Consultant (PMC) but in September 2018 it was made known to the State that if the Board of Directors mutually agreed, the initial ground works can be started without PMC.
Now after commencement of the works since October 2018, KMC is undertaking 7 projects which include two multi level car parking, beautification and road widening from Classic Island to Box Cutting, Construction of KMC and Kohima Smart City Office, the process of making Kohima Wi-Fi City through IT Department, setting up of Integrated Central Command and Control Centre, Smart City lighting and redevelopment of Old Assembly Secretariat (Phase-1).
Other projects in tender stage are Cultural hall Kohima, opening of road connectivity from Southern to Northern end of local ground in order to convert the area from Old NST to Razhü point as walk-able area.
He also informed that under the project, seven wards – Midland, D Block, Kitsubozou, North Block, Naga Bazaar, Daklane and New Market have been declared slum wards and therefore area-based development will be taken up to transform the existing areas by retrofit and redevelop.
Following the implementation and also projection of the works under smart city project, Kohima Smart City has been ranked the second amongst all the North Eastern cities in uploading City Data indicators.
Recalling that Kohima city had been ranked as the second most unlivable city last year, but being ranked second rank in Smart City Index by uploading 69 indicators has brought back the smile on the face of the city, he said.
The indicators include living condition, economy, people, governance, mobility and environment, he said.
On the challenges faced in implementation of the ambitious project, Meyase said the Kohima Smart City Development Ltd is facing the problem of delay in release of state’s share of the matching grant, weak organizational back up with non attached officials.
Nonetheless, he justified that the state government is fully concerned about the project and has been approaching the Asian Development Bank for loan to complete the project.
Revealing that there are more than 60 different projects to be undertaken to transform Kohima into Smart City, he however expressed fear that with the completion of four years of the Smart City Mission of the Centre, it would be difficult to complete the project. Nonetheless, Meyase was hopeful that with BJP-led NDA returning to power at the Centre, the government would extend the duration for completion of the project.
(Page News Service)