MahipTejasvi, Chief Executive Officer, Gwalior Smart City Development Corporation
Tell us about the progress on Gwalior Smart City programme?
We have a number of projects in the pipeline. We are trying to start with smart buses, which will run inter and intra-city.
In addition, we are implementing public bike sharing and smart road projects.
Most of the projects which are already popular in the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) will be implemented in Gwalior. That apart, we are planning some innovative projects such as central library, kiosks in various colleges and universities, and so on.
If you could quantify the projects in terms of their worth, going forward, how much of funds have been received so far?
We are undertaking 71 projects in 11 modules with a total funding of Rs 22 billion. As of now, we have received Rs 4 billion from the government as a grant. That said, we are just not depending on the government funds, be it state or central. We are also considering conversion projects under various government schemes and exploring fund-raising options. Till now, we have tendered around 18 projects worth Rs 600 million, of which 7û8 projects have already drawn bids.
One of the major challenges is funding. What are the other instruments and new ideas that you can bring in for making Smart City Mission a success?
First of all, it is myth that smart cities are facing fund issues. All the listed smart cities have got sufficient funds from the government in the form of grants. Although, we are not facing any funding issue at present, I am sure after a certain period of time, when the tenders are floated and work starts, there are chances of the projects facing financial crunch. Hence, not only Gwalior, but other smart cities must explore other sources of fund generation. If such a situation arises, then we have funds from the convergence schemes. Through convergence-led funds or projects, this mission would bring together all departments which were earlier working in silos. Interestingly, all these departments had been equipped with funds for running particular schemes, which are now subsumed in the SCM. Another way to generate funds is identify such locations in the city which are dead in terms of their commercial value. On such locations, the special purpose vehicle can propose a mix land use concept, wherein we can plan value addition projects for the citizens and generate substantial funds through this initiative.