Meerutís urban dreams die in its half-done drains
JNNURM-I, whose original seven-year tenure ended in March 2012, had federal budgetary funding (allocation as grants-in-aid) of R66,000 crore, out of which Rs 37,000 crore has been released. Delays have led to cost overruns and with several projects incomplete, local bodies implementing the schemes are unable to raise revenues through user fees. The government has extended the scheme by two years to correct implementation flaws and complete projects which have failed to meet original schedules. In parallel, a JNNURM-II in in the works.
According to a recent CAG report, only 18% of JNNURM infrastructure projects in 71 cities were completed on time. The main thrust of the scheme is on infrastructure projects relating to water supply, sanitation, sewerage, solid waste management, road network, urban transport, redevelopment of old city areas and providing basic services to urban poor. There are two sub-missions under JNNURM ó one for urban infrastructure and governance and another for providing basic services to urban poor.
Delays and shoddy work have been the culprits in many cases, as it is in Meerut. District magistrate Vikas Gothawal defended the scheme: ďThere are genuine reasons for the delay. Work slowed down for almost six months during state elections. As far as the quality of work is concerned, third-party inspections are being conducted and I donít think the agency undertaking the work is incompetent,Ē he told a visiting team from FE.
However, Meerutís housing
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