Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, Shimla Smart City project is gaining momentum as Rs 550 crore would be spent on increasing liveability and beautification of the tourist town. Urban development minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that as part of the project, “smart paths” would be constructed from Sanjauli to the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC); a parking lot would be constructed at IGMC; and a five-storey building would be constructed in Vikas Nagar ward, which house a parking lot, a commercial complex and a community center.
Bhardwaj also inspected the 467 shops being constructed at Sabzi Mandi at a cost of Rs 120 crore. He visited the Lower Bazar, Ram Bazaar and Ganj Bazar. He said that under the smart city project, buildings would be constructed in 36 blocks of Krishna Nagar.
The minister said that in the Swachhta Sarvekshan-2020 award, Shimla got 65th rank and this needed to be improved by making city clean and by providing clean drinking water, water ATMs, clean toilets, decongestion of roads, better parking facilities, day care centers for elderly people and parkings.
He said wherever needed rain shelters would be constructed and parks would be developed. In addition, widening of intersections at Sanjauli, Dhalli and Chhota-Shimla will be fast-tracked so that commuters get relief from traffic jams.
Shimla Smart City proposal was prepared based upon the priorities identified by direct engagement with 1,01,561 (57 per cent) residents of the city by means of individual feedback forms, SMS reply, Facebook, MyGov online engagement and Ward Sabha meetings.
The residents engagement process led to the identification of the top priority areas including traffic congestion, public transport, parking and pedestrian mobility, potable water supply, solid waste and waste water management, building safety, disaster mitigation and security of residents beside open and recreational spaces.