Monday, March 08, 2010

Almost all of 53 JNNURM projects in Bangalore are running late

SNAIL’S PACE
Almost all of 53 JNNURM projects in Bangalore are running late
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: A lion’s share of 53 out of 66 projects in Karnataka has been approved for Bangalore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) but it’s taken five long years to see just nine of these completed.
Now the state has only two years remaining and a kitty balance of less than Rs 100 crore. It’s getting closer to the end of the first phase of JNNURM, a scheme started in 2005. The second phase is still a distant reality, dependant on fund availability at both the Centre and the state. But the biggest worry is the poor pace.
Sources in the urban development (UD) department says the target is of completing at least 50 projects by the end of the year. Nine of these are the Traffic & Transit Management centres (TTMCs). But the big question is: will it happen? Also, has there been proper monitoring of these works, considering many of them have been in progress for quite sometime. At p re s e n t , Bangalore leads the list of completed projects along with Surat (as per the latest progress review report dated February 19, 2010). Some cities are yet to come up with projects to claim their share. But, it’s the numbers and the extending deadlines that matter. Almost all the 53 projects in Bangalore are running behind schedule. Some for the tendering process, others like the underpass at Tagore circle hit by public resistance and a few more waiting for settlement of basic land issues. The underpass at Kadirenahalli is still facing some land issues and the one at Puttenhalli isn’t completely open.
“Unfortunately, it’s not the funds but the procedures that are taking time. Majority of them suffer poor implementation and monitoring,” say UD officials.
TOUGH TALK
Poor progress of works has spurred the need for stricter vigil at the Centre. National-level monitoring institutions or project implementation units might soon evaluate the progress of projects across mission cities. “Now, the outlay is more or less over. It’s going to get tougher getting the funds as we’ll soon get into the borrowing mode. The decision not to release any further instalments has been communicated to chief secretaries. It’s sad that till date, no state and none of the 65 mission cities has met with the 100% performance standard,” says M Ramachandran, secretary to union ministry of urban development (MuD). Three insitutions are incharge of monitoring of JNNURM projects: the National Institute of Urban Affairs, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and the Administrative staff college of India. Real-time monitoring of works has been an issue, says Ramachandran.
The only happening and visible segment of JNNURM for the city has been the bus service. About 800 of the 1,000 new buses for Bangalore and all 150 for Mysore proposed under the recently-introduced Rs 150-crore stimulus package for state are on the roads.
TOTAL PROJECTS APPROVED: 66 BANGALORE: 53 MYSORE: 13
NOTEWORTHY ROAD PROJECTS Upgradation of sidewalks, ashphalting of roads surrounding M G ROAD Rs 43.71 cr Upgradation of sidewalks, asphalting of roads surrounding KORAMANGALA Rs 50.4 cr

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