Seven cities of Karnataka state got the Smart City tag in last three years and the story almost ends there! These seven cities are – Tumakuru, Shivamogga, Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi, Mangaluru, Davanagere and Bengaluru and none of them have made any significant progress, in terms of infrastructure projects.
For example, Bengaluru which got its Smart City tag six months ago is yet to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). In case of other cities where SPVs have been formed most of the projects have not moved beyond the Detailed Project Report (DPR) stage or the tendering process. One can gauge the pace of progress made by these cities from the fact that these seven cities together have spent only Rs 30 crore on infrastructure projects so far while the total available funding each year for every city is Rs 200crore.
One of the main reasons for this slow pace of progress is the lack of experienced managerial personnel to implement the projects. Lack of delegation of authority too cited as the reason for poor performance of the smart cities. Also, it is a fact that most of the projects taken up are major ones which take lot of time in getting approval from various authorities.
Though some officials of the state government are confident of making up for the lost time, experts feel that most of the projects would see time overrun.