‘Lapses’ in VMC delays release of funds for works completed

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is paying for the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) ‘lapses’, as release of funds to it for work completed has been withheld.

Hard-pressed for funds, it now is firming up plans to borrow Rs.120 crore from the Hudco.

At a review of the ongoing municipal projects by Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju on Tuesday, Municipal Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana said a letter had been sent to the Hudco on Monday and it would take three to four weeks before the money was released. The corporation had to pay around Rs.70 crore to the contractors to clear bills.

Because of lapses in Vijayawada, a technical committee has been formed and its report should be gone through for release of funds.

Though the Central government has released funds, they are lying with the AP Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation, forcing the GVMC to go in for another instalment of loan. Having taken up 21 projects with a total cost of Rs.1,885 crore under JNNURM, the GVMC has already borrowed Rs.300 crore to foot its 30 per cent share. It completed 14 projects.

Mr. Balaraju later told reporters that since the GVMC had nothing to do with the lapses or the report, officials wanted that it be taken out of the purview, paving the way for release of funds to it.

One of the bottlenecks for the Simhachalam corridor of the BRTS is shifting of Ramakrishnapuram village. But a stiff opposition to relocate them on government land was stalling the process.

Officials explained the other bottlenecks like acquiring private properties at Vepagunta, objections raised by the Endowments Minister for laying road at Adavivaram. Instead of the earlier one TDR, now double TDRs were being offered after a fresh GO was issued.

Mr. Balaraju said the issues would be taken up with the officials concerned at Hyderabad to get clearances. All the issues discussed at the meeting would be followed-up.

Adequate water would ensure that there was no scarcity till December.

The running of private schools in GVMC limits should be monitored. Rule of reservation in allotment of houses, house-sites, and jobs while outsourcing in the GVMC must be strictly followed, the Minister directed.

Chief Engineer B. Jayarami Reddy, Additional Commissioner (Projects) K. Ramesh, and zone commissioners participated.