PANAJI: In a clear ultimatum to the Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL), Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and local experts have said that all Smart City Mission projects should be completed by May 31 or the authorities need to resign from their posts.
During a panel discussion hosted by GCCI, engineers and experts said that the haphazard execution and delayed completion of the projects has led to a loss of lives and livelihood in the state capital.
“Assurances have been made and the assurances have failed. Please stand by the deadline of May 31 or resign from the post,” said businessman and former GCCI president Manoj Caculo.
Caculo was speaking at a round table discussion on issues plaguing the implementation of the Smart City projects. The panelists included retired government engineers, architects and chairman of the Institution of Engineers (India) – Goa.
“The Smart City mission has issues of safety of workmen and people. Another issue is the lack of information transparency. The main issue is the lack of project management and supervision,” said Khan.
All the panelists agreed that the works should be completed by before the monsoons. Caculo said that because of the delayed completion of Smart City projects, several retail stores have surrendered their shops as the sales had completely stopped.
“The authorities need to prioritise the works. Somebody has to be responsible for the inconvenience and the lack of prioritisation,” said Caculo. “Stakeholders’ lives and livelihoods face risk. There are roads that the fire brigade and ambulances cannot go through to reach homes.”
Caculo questioned if the North Goa collector’s permission was obtained before roads were dug up or shut down for Smart City works.
The citizens and engineers also flayed the lack of public participation, Goa Police’s Traffic Cell and experts from government departments.