The wait is finally over. Rourkela, considered Odisha’s industrial capital, has found a place in the third list of Smart Cities declared by the Centre on Tuesday.
Sources said competing with 67 cities across the country, Rourkela found a place in the latest list of 27 Smart Cities and was placed at 26th position to become eligible for funding in 2016-17.
It is second city in the State only after Bhubaneswar, which had topped among 20 Smart Cities declared in the Light House category after fierce competition among 98 cities across the country.
The list of Smart Cities was to originally include 40 cities for funding in 2016-17, but 13 cities, belonging to those States and Union Territories which failed to get any representation in the first list, were included for funding in 2016-17 through Fast Track route under special consideration.
During the first round of selection for 20 Smart Cities, Rourkela was placed at a distant 46th.
Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) Commissioner A K Mallick said total points secured was not immediately available.
In 2016-17, Rourkela would be eligible to get `200 crore to boost development activities from the Central and State governments. In the second phase of competitive selection, Rourkela had submitted Smart City Proposal worth `2,751 crore and added the RMC’s priority is to set up solid waste management plant, integrated sewerage system, boost drinking water and energy availability, ensure better parking, traffic management, introduce electronic surveillance for safety and security and e-governance.
Rourkela ADM Monisha Bannerjee gave credit to administrative setup and RMC teams for Rourkela’s success. Rourkela Development Authority Chairman and former BJD Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak reiterated that the good work done by the BJD-led Rourkela civic body between 2008 and 2013 was a major contributor to Rourkela becoming eligible for Smart City.