Objective of the project is to provide essential amenities

The objective of the PURA (Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) project is to provide essential amenities like drinking water and roads in places that are still classified as gram panchayats, but have the population of a large town.

There are 4,000 such places in the country and 700 in Andhra Pradesh alone, said Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh. Laying the foundation stone for the Rs.160-crore MEIL PURA project for developing infrastructure for Kondapalli and Ibrahimpatnam gram panchayats here on Sunday, Mr. Ramesh said that places in the country were classified into villages, towns and cities, and there were several places that were classified as villages but inhabited by a large number of people.

Referring to them as places in ‘trishanku’, the Union Minister said Rs.160 crore had been earmarked for developing infrastructure required for Kondapalli and Ibrahimpatnam. A new feature about PURA was the involvement of private partners for developing the infrastructure and based on the success of these few pilot projects, this approach would be extended to other such places in the country, he said.

The Union Minister said that within three months there would be a visible change in the villages and the project would be completed in 12 to 18 months. After two in Kerala, this was the third PURA project in the country, Mr. Ramesh said.

Apologising for the two-hour delay in starting the programme, the Union Minister said that he had come to “demonstrate the partnership between the Central and State Governments”.

“I am committed to the success of the project. We (central Government) don’t announce many schemes. Your Chief Minister pops up three schemes a day, but I assure him we are very serious about the implementation of central schemes in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

Union secretary for Rural Development Rajesh Bhushan and Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) president P.C. Sekhara Reddy exchanged the letter of authority for the Ibrahimpatnam and Kondapalli PURA project on the occasion.

Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy said that a second PURA project was being taken up in Warangal also and will be the second one the State. He said that the people of Kondapalli and Ibrahimpatnam were very lucky because Rs.160 crore was a windfall for the development of infrastructure. There are 28,000 villages in the State, but these two villages were getting the benefit of the project.

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