Thiruvananthapuram Smart City Project has failed to cross the first hurdle itself and is yet to finalise the consultant for the project. Though Smartcity Thiruvananthapuram Limited, the special purpose vehicle created for the purpose, shortlisted a company as a consultant, the choice ran into a controversy. STL had shortlisted Wadia Techno Engineering Services Ltd but later on it was found that the shortlisted company was involved in irregularities in its previous projects with Assam government and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL)and was blacklisted. Staring at further delay, STL has sought legal opinion on continuing with a black listed firm it has not yet received an official communication.
As the appointment of consultant is taking more time than anticipated, officials at the Smart City design cell and engineers are preparing plans for implementation of minor projects like smart bus stops, water kiosks and toilets. A total of 135 smart bus stops will be set up in 100 wards.
However, no action is being taken regarding implementation of a pan city solution and area based development under the original plan. Smart city project involves an expenditure of over Rs 1,500 crore by 2021. The project gets Central assistance to the tune of Rs 194 crore as first instalment for the first two years of project implementation.
The city made it to the list of Smart Cities in the third round in June last year.