The participation of citizens in the formulation of the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Rural Mission (JNNURM) is key to the success of the mission, said Urban Development secretary Sudhir Krishna.
He was speaking at a programme organised by Transparent Chennai to evaluate the performance of JNNURM.
“I would advise the States to involve the people when formulating such policies. Some states are developing websites to take suggestions of the people. It is important to ensure citizens are involved; otherwise they won’t appreciate the good intention of the programme and there may be issues in the implementation of various projects.”
Despite the fact that the first phase of JNNURM ends in 2013, government studies show that several projects are yet to be completed and in many of them, the money has been overspent, said Nithya V Raman, director of Transparent Chennai.
“Some studies show that about 23 per cent of all projects under Urban Infrastructure (UIG) funds have spent more than their approved costs; also, less than half the projects approved have reached the final stages of completion.
Moreover, reports suggest that the allocation of further funds for JNNURM II may be tough to ensure if the current projects are not completed on time,” she said.
When asked if any steps could be taken to ensure people’s involvement in the formulation of City Development Plan (CDP) in JNNURM in case the State does not do enough to promote citizen participation, Mr. Sudhir Krishna said that there should be a separate CDP for JNNURM which requires the contribution by the people.
M G Devasahayam, an ex-IAS officer said that JNNURM had seen very little citizen participation
“In 2006, a City Development Plan (CDP) was actually rejected because there had been absolutely no people’s views at all; it did not contain what the people needed then.”