Municipal Commissioner Md. Abdul Azeem has been able to obtain approvals for Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) from the Central Monitoring and Sanctioning Committee (CMSC), New Delhi, in a span of three months.
Though the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation need not bear any share in the project unlike the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, sanctioning of two projects under RAY has not raised the spirits of employees or officials. It has not enthused political parties either. “How do we pool up resources if there is cost escalation in the project?” is the question that is letting down everyone.
The housing projects taken up under the JNNURM has imposed a burden of Rs. 112 crore on the VMC.
The State government was initially reluctant to bear the burden of cost escalation under housing, which is a State subject.
After an uproar in the city, the government announced that it would bear 50 per cent of cost escalation. It, however, did not release a single paise in this regard.
The corporation has an egg on its face for its inability to complete 28,000 houses as proposed. It could not find land to construct 10,000 houses. Now, the Central government has sanctioned two projects — Dal Mill area and NSC Bose Nagar — under RAY with an estimated cost of Rs. 100 crore.
The VMC would have to shell down Rs. 7 crore for developing infrastructure such as roads. The CSMC has sanctioned Rs. 20.13 crore for the Dal Mill area project and Rs. 62 crore for the NSC Bose Nagar project.
The VMC will be able to take up construction of 1,413 houses at NSC Bose Nagar alone. The corporation has chalked out plans to develop 111 slums in the city under RAY.