Speed Up Rourkela Smart City Project: Dharmendra Urges Odisha & Centre

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New Delhi: BJP leader and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested the Central and Odisha governments to expedite the Rourkela Smart City Project.

Dharmendra said this in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister of State (Independent) for Housing & Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday.

The BJP leader wrote that it is a matter of pride that two cities of Odisha—Bhubaneswar and Rourkela—were included in the smart city project which was envisioned by the Prime Minister as a technology-driven fast-track development of several urban centres in the country.

The Union minister stated that Rourkela stands to gain massively from the holistic development enshrined in the smart city model, but regretted the improper utilization of funds.

He wrote that in reply to an RTI query, the public information officer of Rourkela Smart City Ltd (RSL) had informed that though the Centre and Odisha government have sanctioned Rs 376 crore (Rs 188 crore each) to RSL during 2015-17 and 2017-18 for the project, RSL has so far utilized Rs 16.37 crore out of Rs 22.23 crore towards consultancy fees and salaries.

“It is unfortunate that four years since the sanction of grants from the Centre and the state government, RSL has not been able to show significant progress in the project,” Dharmendra said.

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