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BBMP gets extra Rs 309 cr under JnNURM

Funds to be used for remodelling of stormwater drains in four valleys of the City
Last Updated 29 August 2011, 18:35 IST
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The Palike took up remodelling of stormwater drains six years ago. The initial outlay of Rs 460 crore soon went up to Rs 643 crore. However, the project ran into rough weather due to a deviation in the plan, which Palike claimed was mandatory.

According to the Palike sources, the deviation had cost an extra Rs 150 crore. Former mayor P R Ramesh had complained to the Centre alleging misappropriation of funds in the remodelling of drains.

The complaint was made at the time when the Palike had proposed to the Centre to hike the project cost from Rs 643 crore to Rs 952 crore as the target was not achieved.

The Palike had a tough time in convincing the Centre that there was no misuse of funds and that the grants to be released in future would be utilised judiciously.  The efforts yielded dividends and finally the Union Urban Development Ministry released an additional grant of Rs 309 crore.

Riders and glitches
The additional grant, however, comes with riders. The Palike will have to bear the cost of deviation in the plan to the tune of Rs 150 crore. Above all, the term of JnNURM - a project to lay thrust on urban infrastructure - ends on March 31, 2012. The Palike has time of only seven months to complete all the projects and the officials feel that it is almost impossible to achieve the target in such a short span.

However, based on some inputs from the officials at the Centre, the Palike authorities are convinced that the JnNURM could be extended for one more year. The major glitch is that the Central funds would be released only if the State and the Palike agree to bear 25 per cent each of the project cost.

Under the present arrangement, the State Government bears 15 per cent and the Palike contributes 10 per cent of the project cost.

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(Published 29 August 2011, 18:35 IST)

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