The Central government, under National Smart Cities Mission, included Aizawl within its ambit on June 25, 2017.
The aim was to develop the city’s water supply, health, education, sewage systems and facilities including street lighting, traffic, transportation, motor parking facilities etc. and thereby transforming the city to be Smart City.
An amount of Rs. 2,053.01 crore was also sanctioned for the project implementation.
The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the state governments of the respective cities.
Accordingly, a state-level high-powered committee has been formed under the leadership of the chief secretary for the successful implementation of the Smart City project.
The Aizawl Smart City Limited (ASCL) Board of directors has also formed under the UD&PA secretary.
As per the instruction of Ministry of Urban and Housing Affairs, the System integrator for implementation of integrated Command and Control Centre, ITMS and City surveillance system at Aizawl has also been allotted by nomination to Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
“BEL’s overall performance in smart cities across the country and in surveillance-related work, in particular, has been very poor and questionable and can be termed unprofessional,” said a source.
“BEL has been using substandard Chinese material in networking hardware, camera technology etc,” the source further alleged.
The source added that in many cases the fairness of the tender process has also been questioned as to how they have decided on certain OEM’s etc and are deemed to be partial in favouring certain set of OEM’s.
The source added that BEL was recently served with the notice of termination by Belagavi Smart City with charges of unreasonable delay in payment to the vendors of their dues; for not being able to deploy their ICCC platform and inability to integrate to be used either by administration and citizens.
“Such allegation is also raised by Delhi government like delay and using substandard Chinese material and technology in their implementation of Delhi CCTV project,” he added.
“BEL so far has been a failure as far as it comes to smart city implementation. None of their cities is fully functional or near completion so that it can be moved into operations,” the source added.
Recently March, BEL signed a contract of R 101.02 crore with Mizoram government for Aizawl smart city on nomination basis.
Subsequently, BEL has issued a tender for bidding on June 13, 2020, which is already surrounded by controversies.