What private sector efficiency?

Only 10% of money sanctioned for the UPA’s JLN Renewal Mission used?

New Delhi: If the dismal record of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the UPA government’s flagship programme for reviving cities, is anything to go by, the urban aam aadmi has failed to capture political imagination.
Just about 10% of the amount sanctioned for JNNURM has been utilised in the last four years since the mission’s launch in December 2005.
This despite the fact that after delimitation, over 120 Lok Sabha seats comprise urban areas and another 117 semi-urban areas.
Maharashtra tops the list of fund-users though the state has spent only 26% of the Rs10,790 crore sanctioned for its 74 projects. Gujarat, Andhra and Karnataka follow at 11%, 10% and 6%.
Congress general secretary Veerappa Moily, however, says the important point is the money is available to state governments.
“This is a never-before attempt. The Centre has made a huge fund available to cities. This in itself will create a good vibe for the government,” he says.
Optimism apart, JNNURM’s poor performance is enough to give any government going to polls the jitters.

Of the Rs45, 839 crore sanctioned for over 430 projects across the country, only Rs6,931 crore has been availed of. An additional
Rs21,446 crore sanctioned for contingency also remains unutilised.
This means, states have availed of just over 10% of the funds sanctioned for the scheme.

Most, 127, projects have been approved for water supply, which remains a bane of urban dwelling, but only 39% of the available money has been sanctioned so far.

Around 74 road projects have barely taken off, with only 9% of funds. Only 21% of the fund sanctioned for the 93 sewerage projects has been released and 3% for solid waste management. A majority of the 19 urban transport projects consist of bus rapid transport systems, which almost cost Sheila Dikshit the Delhi elections, but only 11% of the fund has been availed of.

Strangely, only one project has been sanctioned for parking, an urban nightmare, and appallingly, only 0.10% of the fund released.

Urban development ministry officials are quick to point out that it is the state governments that are responsible for implementation of the projects, with the Centre acting as a cashier.

“We release money only when states spend their sanctioned funds,” a ministry official says.

State governments have complained in the past of accounting double standards and stringent municipal governance reforms.
Urban development secretary M Ramachandran, however, says reforms and renewal go “hand in hand”.


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Filed under Infrastructure finance, JNNURM, Privatisation of Municipal Services, Urban reforms Agenda

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