As officials are replaced and projects are delayed under the Smart City project only seven of the 13 ongoing projects have achieved ‘physical progress of 30% or higher in the city. Higher-level LSGD officials recently reviewed ongoing work in advance of the chief minister's review on August 3. Many of these projects were awarded to contractors between one and two years ago.
The few projects that have so far recorded 30 percent or more physical progress are the construction of the rehabilitation block for the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (Trida) at Palayam the multi-level car parking facility at Thampanoor works as a part of the automatic traffic management system the upgraded public health center cultural streets at Manaveeyam Veedhi and biomining at Chalai.
Some large-scale projects such as smart roads within corporation boundaries an integrated social housing complex in Rajaji Nagar and smart road construction through the Kerala Road Fund Board have made little physical progress. While corporation smart roads have made 14 per cent physical progress a $60 million payment has already been made. Under KRFB approximately $1.2 billion has been released for smart road work but physical progress is almost non-existent.
PWD secretary convened a meeting to discuss the future of smart road projects and participants weighed various options for moving forward. One option for the corporation road is to remove 23 roads from the contractor’s scope and allow the company to complete the remaining 17 roads. The other option is to cancel the contract and seek new bids.
With a year until the project period ends officials anticipate that such a decision would require legal proceedings and the project could be delayed for years. The meeting also addressed the importance of considering the role of project management consultants (PMCs) in completing projects on time. Officials are evaluating whether PMC has been prompt in raising concerns about the projects.
On July 24, the government appointed Arun K Vijayan as CEO of SCTL replacing Vinay Goel. SCTL has also recently imposed two key requirements following the resignation of a number of officials in various positions. So far 23 projects totalling $540 million have been completed.