While Panjim city and its inhabitants are reeling under the disastrous effects of incessant rainfall, it is a time of merrymaking for a group of people: Consultants & Contractors. What with the concept of a Smart City being floated about, nearly Rs. 100 crore has been paid by the Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Corporation Ltd into the accounts of consultants and contractors, over the past several years.

Goa’s Urban Development Minister Milind Naik informed the Goa Legislative Assembly in a written reply that the IPSCDCL, the special purpose vehicle floated by the State government to develop the capital city into one of India’s nearly 40 ‘smart’ cities, has thus far received Rs 191.20 crore in liquid funds — Rs 118.20 crore from the Central government and Rs 73 crore from the State government.   

The Curtorim MLA Alleixo Reginaldo Lourenco questioned what exactly the smart city concept for Panaji was, the list of consultants, contractors and engineers impaneled to implement it, individual projects completed and the payouts made.

Naik informed the House that Larsen and Toubro contracted to implement the Master System Integrator for Goa Intelligent City Management System, has been paid Rs. 22.49 crores as ‘mobilization advance’. The Minister’s written reply though didn’t have any details about the completion of individual projects.

Another company called M/s Abha Narain Lamba and Associates were paid Rs 32 lakh as fees for consultation (pre–tendering) for the Restoration, Refurbishment and Interior Design of Office Premises of IPSCDCL. The contract though has yet to be awarded.

Naik’s written reply also stated that a contractor named M/s Salgaonkar Sanchar was paid an amount of Rs.14.6 lakh for the project ‘Smart Radios Wireless Network with Mast Tower for Panaji City’ but he failed to give any details regarding the progress status of the project.

The reply also mentioned that a payment of Rs. 42 crore was made to M/s Shalaka Infra-Tech (I) Pvt Ltd. to convert Ribandar’s overhead power lines to underground cabling.

Regarding consultancy, two firms were paid. M/s Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd. for submitting an ‘Inception Report’ for the Comprehensive Mobility Plan for the State of Goa and Parking Master Plan for Panaji, Rs. 28 lakh was paid.

Another firm engaged by the IPSCDCL for ‘Comprehensive Project Management’ including consultancy for design, design review, detailed engineering and project management of various urban infrastructure development projects for Panaji City, was paid Rs. 95.35 crores, as per Naik’s written reply.

Source: The Goan 

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