- MISPLACED PRIORITIES
10 Mar 2019 05:37am IST
10 Mar 2019 05:37am IST
The capital city of Panjim, is crying for help for various issues like garbage, water, power supply, St Inez Creek and bad roads besides many others. And even though Panjim was chosen for the Smart City Project with Rs 500 cr coming in as funding from the Centre, which could have helped overcome the critical issues; as usual, the money which is coming in, is being utilised for some flimsy projects ignoring the city’s basic needs. SURAJ NANDREKAR reports.
In April 2016, Goa was selected for the Smart City project by the Centre and immediately, the State formed a Special Purpose Vehicle – Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (IPSCDL).
Under the Central government’s SMART CITY scheme the state would get around Rs 500 cr for various development works.
The Plans submitted by the State is of Rs 1,750 cr which means Rs 1,250 will now be paid by the State.
In the last two and half years, the IPSCDL has received an amount of Rs 108 cr from the Centre and Rs 80 cr from the State.
Besides, another Rs 78 cr has been released by the Centre which is yet to be credited in the State account.
With nearly Rs 200 cr in its kitty, what has IPSCDL done for Panjim so far? And the answers are unsatisfactory.
What the IPSCDL boasts about is the development of the walkway along Central Library Side of the Creek: Refurbishment of existing Pedestrian Bridge linking Central Library and Creek: Rejuvenation of Clusters of Lanes of Althinho Steps phase I (Near Mustifund High School and Steps near Well); Rejuvenation of Clusters of Lanes of Althino Steps Phase II; Beautification and Upgradation of Azad Maidan square; and Implementation of Smart Radios Wireless Network with Mast Towers for Panjim City.
What a Waste of Public Money?
When Panjim is begging for attention, the authorities seem to be ruthlessly splurging public money as per their whims and fancies.
The administration ought to be focused on ensuring basic services are in place and working efficiently instead of flying in the air.
The city of Panjim was ravaged by the first rains last year with flooding, power cuts, trees uprooted etc bringing to fore the various facilities the city lacks.
But the city fathers seem to be living in a different world altogether and seem hell bent on giving the capital town a cosmetic changeover rather than looking into the basic needs.
Panjimites feel the politicians seem to be living in a fool’s world. Despite being the capital city, the condition is critical and if not paid heed to, it could get even worse.
The priorities of the IPSCDL are the security with CCTV cameras (Rs 180 cr), a city Smart Card, cycling tracks and free cycling service, parking plans etc.