Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatraya on Wednesday emphasised on developing a satellite town in the periphery of Shimla in view of increasing pressure on the capital city and to ensure infrastructure development in a planned manner.

In a meeting with the officials of Smart City in Himachal at Raj Bhawan to know about the ongoing development works in Shimla Smart City and various other projects, Dattatraya also asked to develop a plan for the construction of tunnels in Shimla to decongest the pressure on roads and asked the authorities to review the progress of all works regularly. He suggested to develop a food mart within the city.

The Governor said that priority should be given to the projects of information technology, tourism, education, health and road widening in Shimla city under the Smart City Project. He said the Smart City Project should be completed within the stipulated time to benefit the citizens. Commissioner Municipal Corporation Shimla Pankaj Rai apprised Dattatraya about the projects and facilities to be developed in the city.

The Governor said that projects implemented under the Smart City Project should be classified into big projects, small projects to be completed soon and projects related to the matters under consideration.

He expressed satisfaction that during the pandemic period, works of more than Rs 250 crore have been completed under the project within the last few months. While giving the detailed status of Smart City Shimla through power point presentation, Pankaj Rai apprised the Governor that total 23 stakeholder departments were involved in respect of 28 projects worth Rs 529.31 crore envisaged under Shimla Smart City Mission.

He said that new tunnel parallel to Dhalli tunnel would be constructed and the project was implemented by HP Road Infrastructure Development Corporation. Similarly, the Tourism department was implementing a project, namely “Development of iceskating rink” for which an amount of Rs seven crores was proposed under Smart City Mission, he added.

He also disclosed that a bike-sharing scheme on three stretches including Chaura Maidan to CTO, Sanjauli Chowk to Lakkar Bazar and Chotta Shimla near Secretariat to Ridge would be started and the project is expected to be awarded by 30 September and completed by January 2021.

The Governor appreciated the initiative and asked the officers to expedite the works. Mayor Municipal Corporation Shimla Satya Kaundal, Deputy Mayor Shailender Chauhan, Joint Commissioner MC Shimla Ajit Bhardwaj and other officers were also present on the occasion