Funding - the ever looming dark cloud behind Guwahati’s Smart City project
The Guwahati smart city project worth Rs. 2400 has reached its first hurdle. With funding being one of the major concerns the funds for the ambitious Rs 2,400 crore Guwahati Smart City project was supposed to be rolled out in phases. But the project will have issues in its delivery because of funding prospects.
Guwahati Development Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has clarified that the State Government submitted a proposal of Rs 2,400 crore for implementing the Smart City project at Guwahati. However, they have been given the approval of Rs 400 crore from the Centre. The Government of India has directed the State Government to contribute Rs 400 crore as the state government's share. The rest of the money has to be generated using a PPP model.
This puts the onus on the State government to generate Rs. 2000 crores in the Public-Private-Partnership mode. "This project is tougher than what we had thought. We are now discussing how to collect this amount. People thought that as Guwahati is included in the list of Smart City projects, so lots of money will come. But this is not the case," says Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Generating investment under PPP in cities like Bhubaneswar, Delhi or Mumbai is easier but not Guwahati. The government is currently focusing on how to utilise the Centre-State share of Rs 800 crore in the best possible way, he added.