Smart City work in Tirunelveli bags third place

Based on assessment of progress of various projects getting executed under the Central government funded scheme

The Tirunelveli Smart City Limited has bagged the third place in the entire country among the smart cities selected in the third round of the prestigious project being implemented by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

While Dehradun, capital of Uttarakhand, and Sagar of Madhya Pradesh have bagged the first and second places respectively, Tirunelveli has won the third place among the cities selected for the project.

Apart from Tirunelveli, Erode is the only other city from Tamil Nadu in the entire list of winners, which was selected in the fourth round. Interestingly, Tirupur and Vellore that won all-India rankings in the past have not figured in the rankings released on Friday in Mumbai by Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri. Indore and Surat have become the overall winners by bagging the first and second places in the overall category comprising the cities selected in all four rounds.

The Tirunelveli Corporation, which was selected as one of the 100 ‘Smart Cities’ in the country only in the third round, climbed up the ranking ladder to reach the 16th position in the entire country in 2019 following the third phase of assessment of the progress achieved on the projects getting executed under the scheme.

The Tirunelveli Smart City Limited, the special purpose vehicle floated for implementing the smart city projects on an outlay of ₹ 940 crore for the holistic development of the city, proposed to construct a trade centre at the Exhibition Ground opposite the Corporation’s administrative office, reconstruct the Tirunelveli Junction bus-stand and create a truck terminal at Pettai.

Since Kanniyakumari, Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar districts, all fall under the ‘influence area’ around the upcoming project (influence area up to 100 km), do not have a spacious hall for organising conventions or expositions though they house good number of industries, the corporation has proposed to construct the trade centre on the 7.44-acre Exhibition Grounds on an outlay of ₹56.71 crore. More than 74% of the physical work of this project that was started in 2019 has been completed.

Another outlay of ₹79 crore has been earmarked for recreating the 62-year-old Tirunelveli junction bus-stand with modern amenities. Since the corporation has proposed to construct an ultra-modern bus-stand at Tirunelveli Junction, the existing dingy structure has been removed. Besides having basement parking to accommodate over 106 cars and 1,629 bikes, the new bus terminus will have 27 bays and 144 shops in the ground plus three floor shopping mall.

The new bus-stand, which is expected to generate annual net revenue of ₹ 1.87 crore after expenditures, will be completed within 18 months. Around 69% of this work has been completed.

While more than 75% of the work of new bus-stand has been completed, the Palaayamkottai bus-stand will be handed over for operation in August this year while work on the construction of shops around this bus terminus will take some more time.

Though work on the Nehru Open Theatre was started in belated fashion, more than 60% of this work has been completed.

As the entry of heavy vehicles proceeding to destinations in Kerala from Thoothukudi and the trucks from Madurai to Nagercoil have to cross Tirunelveli in the absence of ring road on the western side of the city, a truck terminal was planned at Pettai. As the truck terminal has been commissioned, it has greatly reduced the entry of heavy vehicles in the city.

Besides, the Tirunelveli Smart City Limited earmarked funds for modernising drinking water distribution, traffic regulation, streetlights, roads, technology-based infrastructure development etc.

“This is a recognition given by the Union Government for our team effort. Though the pandemic-induced lockdown affected our work a lot, we are determined to show significant progress and complete the projects at the earliest,” said V. Narayanan Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Tirunelveli Smart City Limited.

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