JNNURM proposals in troubled waters?

JNNURM proposals in troubled waters?
G.V.R. Subba Rao
Centre has not taken kindly to the VMC’s resolution on PPP

Date:26/10/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/10/26/stories/2007102663780300.htm

VIJAYAWADA: Is there a threat to the ongoing projects as well as the new ones that are in the pipeline under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) because of the opposition of various political parties, more particularly the Left, to Public Private Partnership (PPP)?

VMC authorities indicate so, while the Left rubbishes the talk as a ruse to silence them and speed up the PPP projects. Officials say the Centre has not taken kindly to the resolutions passed by the general body of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) opposing the PPP projects. A Mumbai-based organisation, which carries out research and training in municipal administration, is closely monitoring the developments in the city, say corporation officials.
‘Informal inquiries’

With the help of a few local professionals such as chartered accountants and MBA students, various agencies enlisted by the Centre are making ‘informal inquires’ with senior officials of the corporation about the progress of the projects that are in the pipeline, according to official sources.

VMC officials say the Centre has sought a clarification from the Municipal Administration Department in Hyderabad about the general body’s stance in respect of PPP projects. This is being done in view of the Union Ministry of Urban Development already outlining in its ‘desired outcome’ report of JNNURM that projects that can be taken up in PPP mode should preferably be taken up only as such. It also advised the State governments to promote at least five PPP projects at the urban local body level to serve as model projects for others to emulate.

Mayor Mallika Begum and her delegation, who had to do some explaining to the officials of the Municipal Administration Department in Hyderabad about the resolution passed by the general body opposing the PPP project in Brindavan Colony, said after the meeting: “The officials thought that the elected representatives were opposing the PPP as a whole. But, we convinced them that the general body is not opposing the PPP as such.

We explained them that the corporation would incur losses if the Brindavan Colony project is taken up in the given conditions, and, hence, the resolution was passed.”

CPI (M) leader Ch. Babu Rao says that under the garb of the Centre making inquiries and by talking about a ‘slow down in the release of funds’, the Government wants to speed up the implementation of “anti-people policies”.

© Copyright 2000 – 2007 The Hindu

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