Tamil Nadu lags behind other states in implementing the smart city project, according to a report from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs submitted in the Rajya Sabha.
The 11 cities in Tamil Nadu selected under the project have not even spent 1% of the total funds of Rs 1.96 bn sanctioned by the central government in 2016.
In addition to the Centre’s allocation, the state government’s share of another Rs 2 bn has also been lying idle with the Tamil Nadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TUFIDCO).
Among the smart cities in the state, Coimbatore municipal corporation has spent the highest of Rs 72.7m while Salem spent the least Rs 500,000. Greater Chennai Corporation has spent Rs38.2m, much less than Coimbatore. According to the data submitted by Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Madurai has spent Rs 8.2m, Thanjavur Rs 1.9 m and Vellore Rs 600,000.
Procedural delay and red tape have been cited as the primary reasons for underutilisation of funds for implementing the smart city project, say officials.