The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials, now, have a reason to smile. The State Government released Rs. 52 crores which has been pending with it for the last four months. This apart, the government has agreed to release Rs. 4.25 crores towards non-plan grants of first and second quarters this year.
The State government has not been releasing the non-plan grants to the Vijayawada for the past eight quarters (two years). The dues would be around Rs.40 to Rs. 50 crore. And, there is, apparently, no striking move to press the government to release the grants. Though the government has agreed to release non-plan grants for the current financial year, the Corporation is unlikely to receive the past dues, sources say.
The VMC officials now feel that some pending bills could be cleared so as to keep momentum of the works taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme. Most of the projects have come to a grinding halt as the contractors were unwilling to go ahead with the works in view of mounting dues, sources say.
The Corporation took up various development works under the JNNURM programme in recent past, and a staggering Rs. 170-crore dues are pending with Central and State governments towards their share in the JNNURM projects. Of this, the Corporation already took about Rs. 60 crores as advance from the APUFIDC, which is a nodal agency to release the funds under the JNNURM. As there is an inordinate delay in release of dues, the Corporation nearly faced “financial crisis.”
Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu submitted a memorandum, on July 5, to Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy listing the dues. As many as Rs. 89 crores are due with the Central government towards Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) and Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP), both sub-mission plans, under the JNNURM programme. Similarly, the State Government has to release Rs. 82 crores.
Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu apprised the higher-ups in Hyderabad of the situation and urged them to release the dues immediately. He also submitted Action Taken Reports (ATRs) for works taken up under the UIG of JNNURM. Another Rs. 14 crore under UIG was also pending with the government, sources say.