The Cabinet gave its approval to the detailed project report (DPR) worth Rs 486.47 crore to provide reliable and quality power, benefitting villages of the border area from Pooh to Kaza.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu on Friday said that the state government would probe the alleged misuse of public money in Smart City projects and the Members of the House should come forward with their written complaints.
He said this while responding to the question of Congress MLA Dharmshala Sudhir Sharma, who sought to know how much money was received from the Centre under the Dharamshala Smart City Scheme and utilization of the funds. He also demanded for an investigation into the quality of work carried out under this project.
The Chief Minister said that the construction activities under the Smart City project have been temporarily suspended due to recent disasters the state witnessed due to heavy rains.
A budget of Rs 500 crore has been approved by the Central government under various schemes under the Dharamshala Smart City Scheme and out of this, Rs 490 crore has been received, he informed adding that out of this, a budget of Rs 396.75 crore has been spent so far.
Talking about the Smart City project in Shimla, the Chief Minister blamed the previous government for having got the work done by putting pressure on the officials and today the situation is such that the capital Shimla has completely become a ‘Steel Smart City.’
The Chief Minister admitted that there were irregularities in the work done under the project and that if the members of the House came forward to formally submit information, and complaints about these irregularities, he would initiate a probe.
Shimla MLA Harish Janartha had also raised the issue of Shimla Smart City in a supplementary question and sought to know from the government about the cancellation of a number of works, the allocation of the funds and where have the funds been spent, and from whom approval had been taken.
He pointed out that all the debris of the landslide caused by the rains was thrown into the drains and nullahs, due to which the drainage system in Shimla had clogged and deteriorated.
Janartha further stressed the need for approval from qualified technical experts instead of non-technical persons in the Smart City projects.
The Chief Minister in a written reply to the question of MLA Bikram Singh informed the House that the employees under Shimla Environment, Heritage Conservation and Beautification (SEHB) Society will not be regularized.
At present there are 1011 employees placed under SEHB Society, he informed. SEHB Society is responsible for door-to-door collection of garbage in Shimla city under the supervision of Shimla Municipal Corporation.