Kohima: Naga People’s Front (NPF), on Friday, raised the issue of diverting fund for Kohima Smart City projects, questioning as to how projects are channelized in schemes that are funded from different agencies. The government announced that a total amount of Rs 198 Crore was sanctioned for the Kohima Smart City, out of which Rs 113 Crore was released and Rs 77.90 Crore was spent out of the released amount.
MLA Yitachu, who raised the starred question, further queried as to how much amount was spent on the newly constructed Kohima Smart City and Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) building project. In response, minister of rural development, Metsubo Jamir, said that a total of Rs 1.04 crore was sanctioned for the building project, out of which Rs 1 lakh has already been paid till date.
Yitachu further went on to say that the site where the new building now stands was made to be vacated in 2005 and funding for the project started in 2010-11, even before the Smart city plan came about. He queried as to how funds were diverted to build the two multilevel parking that were left abandoned. He therefore questioned the government as to how the Kohima Smart City projects are being channelized in other schemes which are funded from different agencies.
To this, Jamir said that about two years ago, the ministry had raised queries about unfinished projects, to which the state government proposed the two multilevel parking, due to traffic congestion in the town, the allocation for which was assigned to the Smart City. He highlighted the need for a multilevel parking as at present, there are 17 Nagaland State Transport (NST) buses that enters the town area which are parked in the centre of the town.
Following this, Yitachu appealed the speaker to allow the minister concerned to furnish the communication letter obtained from the ministry. In addition, Leader of Opposition TR Zeliang asked if the ministry has approved the diversion of fund for the project that was started through another scheme under the same department. Revealing that the multilevel parking were not proposed in the original Detailed Project Report (DPR), Zeliang expressed fear that the projects could be stopped in future if the approval for fund diversion was not granted by the ministry.
Jamir responded that the entire process for diversion and change in the implementation of taking up new schemes under Smart City project was done under verbal discussion. Demanding the ruling government to lay the project approval by the ministry on the floor of the house, Zeliang criticized the verbal deal made for a mega project. Seeking more time from the speaker, Jamir further assured that all necessary documents will be made available.
The government highlighted eight ongoing projects of the Kohima Smart City namely: Beautification of Kohima town Phase-1; Two Multilevel Car parking projects; capital cultural hall; re-development of Old Secretariat phase-1; parking and community hall at New Market; Integrated Command and Control Centre; Kohima Wi-fi city.