Many smart city projects, which were stalled due to lockdown over the outbreak of Covid-19, have resumed in Kochi. Cochin Smart Mission (CSML) has already started road work and hospital development projects while more works are expected to begin in the coming days. CSML authorities had initiated measures to resume work last month and contractors were asked to mobilize equipment and labourers for the purpose.
An official with CSML said, “Work on many roads, including Shanmugham Road and Abraham Madamackal Road have already been started. Construction of new blocks at Ernakulam general hospital, Mattancherry taluk hospital and Karuvelippady taluk hospital have also been resumed.”
There is shortage of workers which stands in the way of the work gaining complete momentum. “Contractors have mobilized as much guest workers as possible. So, many of the projects like the work on hospital renovation are progressing well,” the official added.
However, there is no clarity on revising deadline of smart city projects. In fact, the deadline for beginning the work was December 31, 2019. There were expectations that the Centre will grant an extension until March 31, 2020. “Government hasn’t given any written communication regarding the extension. The only instructions we got is that all work should be tendered by March 31, 2020. We have tendered almost all the work except the slum eradication one. The project for slum eradication is yet to get the clearance from Kochi corporation,” the official said.
“Similarly, the proposal to take over the work on first tower of the apartment complex being constructed by Kochi Corporation under Rajiv Awas Yojana also is yet to get government nod,” the official said.