Kochi is racing against time to grab its share from the additional resources available with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The Centre had recently announced that additional funds to the tune of Rs. 6000 crore would be released to the Mission. It will be on first-come-first-served basis that the resources will be allotted. The Mission cities the need to submit Detailed Project Report (DPR) as prescribed by the Mission for getting extra funds.
A meeting convened by the Local Self Government Department recently had urged the city administrators to complete the formalities for taping the additional financial aid for various projects. It was also suggested at the meeting that projects that could be implemented in a time-bound manner should be given priority in this phase.
The city administrators had earlier decided to seek funds for flyovers, water supply and drainage projects. However, the Public Works Department had expressed surprise at the decision of the corporation council and made public its intentions to go ahead with the flyover projects in the city. The council decision had also triggered a war of words between PWD Minister V.K. Ibrahim Kunju and Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany.
Making the stand of the civic body clear in the construction of flyovers at Kundannoor, Kalamassery, Vyttila and Palarivattom, Mr. Chammany said the civic body was keen on bringing more infrastructure projects to the city.
If the government intends to build the flyovers through PWD, the civic body would be happy to play its role as a facilitator for channelling funds as mission funds were allotted to cities. The Kochi Corporation was open to any suggestion from the State government in this regard, he said.
There are projects like Muvattupuzha water supply scheme in Kochi, which was sanctioned to the city and was owned and implemented by the Kerala Water Authority. The authority also has a detailed project report for another drinking water project, which would bring additional quantity of drinking water to city. If required, that project will also be pushed ahead, he said.
The Irrigation Department is in the process of drawing up detailed plans for revitalising the canals. Another project for stormwater drainage was also in the priority list of the corporation, he said.
The city administrators were told that the service of consultants will be made available for preparing the report for the projects. The corporation is planning to get the documents ready by August. It’s a race against time and those who are able to submit viable DPRs earlier would walk away with the funds.
Going by the initial deadline, the mission is to be wound up by March next.
K.J. Sohan, chairman of the Town Planning Standing Committee of the corporation said the detailed project reports need to be prepared in tune with the revised guidelines of the project. Modifications were introduced in the guidelines after assimilating the experiences in the implementation of the project during the last seven years.