Under the Smart City Project, works on musical fountain, landscaping and toy trains have been taken up at a cost of Rs 22 crore. Much to the chagrin of the visitors, there has been a delay in the works apparently due to lockdown.
P S Dharaneppanavar, president of Mahatma Gandhi Udhyana Kriya Samiti, regretted the slow pace of development works. “The elected representatives and the authorities had promised completion of the works at the earliest. But it’s not happening on the ground. The walking tracks are almost removed, and the pavers are not fitted properly. The MG Park is the only lung space in the heart of the city which senior citizens and others visit for morning/ evening walks daily. But the absence of the required facilities is inconvencing them,” he rued.
Urban development minister BA Basavaraj has directed the officials to ensure quality in the works. “No walkers should be troubled because of the works. Walking tracks should be made free for strollers by ridding the track of construction materials/ debris. There is a need for proper lighting and drinking water facilities. The landscaping should be done in order,” he had said.
S H Naregal, special officer of Hubballi-Dharwad Smart City Project Ltd, said that some development works are hit due to lockdown and the subsequent migration of labourers. “For landscape work, there is requirement of skilled labours. During lockdown, over 500 workers involved in Smart City works went to their hometowns outside the state. Also, the toy train work has hampered because of transportation issues. The parts of the train need to come from Pune (Maharashtra). But the works on the musical fountain are over,” he explained.
The office said after Unlock, three months’ extension has been given to contractors to complete the works. “Landscaping, toy train and others will be in place by December. Frequently checks are happening to ensure quality works,” he added..