• Bhopal to get Rs 22,000 crore ‘smart’ booster

    Development in Bhopal is set to receive a huge boost with about Rs 22,000 crore to be pumped into revamping city infrastructure in the next five years. On Wednesday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced Rs 15,000 crore will be spent on Bhopal’s development in the next five years. Later Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) clarified that Chouhan’s announcement was apart investment in proposed Bhopal Metro, which is likely to take off from June. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has in principle agreed to provide a soft loan of around Rs 7,000 crore for development of first phase of 83-km metro rail in Bhopal.

    “People who come to the state capital get swayed by its beauty. Rs 15,000 crore will be spent on Bhopal’s development in the next five years and a blue-print for this has been drawn,” said Chouhan. He also inaugurated the longest rail-over-bridge (RoB) that has been named after Veer Savarkar.

    In a reference to opposition of smart city development at Shivaji Nagar, Chouhan indicated there was no going back on location project site. A redevelopment model for smart city development in Bhopal and its impact on the green cover has highlighted by citizen groups in the recent past.

    “Greenery will be enhanced by the smart city project. Smart City development will bring about more jobs and development,” he assured. Rs 8,000 crore smart city project pitch was selected in union government smart cities mission. Bhopal is among the 20 cities selected in the first phase.

    An additional, Rs 100 crore from the CM infrastructure development was also allocated for BMC. It would cover for additional cost incurred in construction of Habibganj RoB and two other flyovers on Upper Lake and Lower Lake. Habibganj RoB has been built for Rs 82 crore. It was originally estimated to cost Rs 37 crore.

    Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on development of Hamidia road including a new interstate bus terminal (ISBT) at Old Sabzi Mandi, said BMC mayor Alok Sharma. It would part of the Rs 15,000 crore to be spent on Bhopal’s development in the next five years, as announced by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday. Speaking on the side-lines of the inauguration of Habibganj RoB, Sharma said, “Development of Bhopal as a whole is being planned. Over the years, old parts of the state capital have not received due attention,” said Sharma.

    “Existing bus stand cannot handle the current requirements. Those coming from nearby areas, usually get a connecting train from Bhopal main railway station rather than Habibganj. A new ISBT would cater to this demand,” he said.

    Sources said the BMC has put forth the proposal and would be incorporated in the upcoming Bhopal master plan.

    BMC tax increase likely: CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan commented at low tax collection in Bhopal. BMC sources said that development of the city could mean additional cess by BMC.

    Multiple bodies, development plans overlap

    Each of the urban bodies in the state capital is out to get a piece of the various development projects in the state capital. In the absence of a master plan, most of the projects like construction of flyover to grid-separators on congested intersections may not be a reality anytime soon.

    In the Bhopal Development Authority (BDA) budget for 2016-17, its chairman Om Yadav proposed, construction of flyovers with to unclog Bhopal city traffic. BDA’s main proposal are at Lal Ghati and Board Office square at MP Nagar. Metro rail is proposed to pass through both the places and BDA’s proposal for a grid-separator at the intersection may never see the light of day. Similarly, BMC proposed flyover at Rangmahal remains unlikely given the metro rail project.

    Development projects related to the Rs 15,000 crore would be take shape in the days ahead after with between BMC, Bhopal Development Corporation, Bhopal Smart city development corporation limited and Madhya Pradesh metro rail company limited (MPMRCL), clarified a government official.

    After Raja Bhoj, statue of Rani Kamlapati at Upper Lake

    Rani Kamlapati Palace, Bhopal’s only archaeological survey of India (ASI) protected structure may get much needed lift over. The only remaining part of Rani Kamlapati palace, is considered to be the bath and wash area of the once majestic seven-storey structure built around in early 18th century.

    “City’s heritage look will be maintained. Rani Kamlapati palace will be renovated. Instruction has been given to install a mammoth bust of Rani Kamlapati at Upper Lake. Bhopal will be transformed into smart city where more greenery will be there and city will wear a unique look after transformation,” said CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He also announced installation of a statue of Gond queen, Rani Kamlapati on the Upper Lake. 

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