Shimoga, also known as Shivamogga, is a large city and the district headquarters of Shivamogga district in the central part of Karnataka. Situated 569-meter above sea level and gateway to the hilly region of the Western Ghats, the city lies on the banks of Tunga River and is popularly nicknamed ‘Gateway of Malnad’. What’s more! Shimoga has been selected in the third round of the cities to be developed as ‘smart’ under the government’s smart cities mission.
The city has selected about 74 projects to be taken up under the smart city. Of these, 60 are Shimoga City Corporation funded, six projects are taken up in PPP and eight under convergence (i.e. other departments executing the work under the ambit of smart cities mission). These eight projects are ongoing and are completely funded by the state government.
“Under the smart cities mission, we have selected projects at a total cost of Rs 11.84 billion; these are under various stages of project preparation or execution or tendering,” says Charulata Somal, Managing Director, Shivamogga Smart City Corporation, and Commissioner, Shimoga City Corporation.
The city is aiming at sustainable development centered around the themes of water and environment, following its mission statement ‘Ecological transformation through green Urbanism’.
“We want to improve existing infrastructure in area-based development (ABD), which we expect to be replicated in other areas in due course. Once we establish well-developed infrastructure, we aim to replicate it in other areas with corporation funds,” Somal declares.
For road projects that the city has taken up, the authority aims to have all the utilities such as power cables, water supply lines, sewer lines, TV cables, etc, underground. Further, for roads with a smaller width, the city corporation is planning to integrate the level of the footpath with that of the cover slab of the drain, so that it can be used for vehicular movement in the middle and the sides can be used for parking as well as cycling.
“We recently floated tenders to the tune of Rs 2 billion, for which we are soon awarding work orders. Besides, we recently called for bids for the second time for two road packages worth Rs 1.4 billion and Rs 700 million each,” announce Charulata Somal.
Apart from these, several DPRs are being prepared. According to Somal, the city corporation have projects to the tune of Rs 4.44 billion for which DPRs are under preparation; the tenders for these will be announced in the coming two to three months. These include works for the conservation of buildings for which we are preparing the concept; road works for last-mile connectivity and Ring Road improvement at about Rs 900 million.
“Also, we will be tendering works for riverfront development – the frontline project of the smart city programme – at an estimated Rs 1.4 billion for the civil engineering component,” she says. Other projects include heritage works, with certain focal points of importance like the Shivappanaika Palace (known as Heritage Walk), which actually depicts the heritage of Shimoga city. So, it would be developing about a two-km stretch of roads—face-lifting existing roads as well as taking all the utilities underground—around these heritage places.
The heritage works include a hard component such as the physical structure and a soft component wherein an app will provide an audio guide at important points while passing through the road. The corporation is planning to tender out all the works for this before March.