‘Revision exercise has turned into a platform for World Bank-driven reforms in the proposed JNNURM Plus’

The CPI(M) has taken exception to a number of proposals reportedly made in the draft interim report of the city development plan (CDP) to pave way for its revision terming them detrimental to the interests of the people of the city.

At a press conference here on Sunday, CPI(M) city secretary B. Ganga Rao said the revised CDP under preparation had not been put on GVMC’s website for eliciting views from the public or kept the draft within their reach or held meetings on it in wards.

Alleging that the revision of CDP turned into a platform for World Bank-driven reforms in the proposed JNNURM Plus, he said civic services like water, sanitation, drainage and BRTS were supposed to be privatised. Slums would be handed for development to private agencies and public private partnership was proposed to be introduced in all wings of GVMC. He feared further hike in property tax.

Mr. Ganga Rao said increasing the role of private agencies in water supply, introducing 24X7, metered supply, increasing water tariff, removing public taps, doing away with free supply, privatising the Visakhapatnam Industrial Water Supply Company were among the proposals related to water supply.

Collection of underground drainage cess, outsourcing operation and maintenance of sewerage system, privatising sewage treatment plants, community toilets were proposals related to sewage management while privatising solid waste management, handing over half of the slum area to private parties under Rajiv Awas Yojana, parking under BOT and shifting vendors from roadside were the other proposals in the draft CDP, he alleged.

Mr. Ganga Rao said no thorough review of the first CDP that was prepared for the implementation of the first phase of JNNURM was taken up even as its revision was going on. Apart from not completing the projects as scheduled by 2012, several of the objects like provision of 50,000 houses to the poor, giving them tenurial rights on land, improving health facilities, among others have not been met. He pointed out that the corporation was neck-deep in debts borrowing Rs.289 crore.

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