The Centre is planning to increase the corpus under the Jawharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to Rs 1,50,000 crore from the present Rs 1,00,000 crore.
Stating that the Union Cabinet’s approval was awaited, Union minister of state for Urban Development Saugata Roy told PTI that of the increase by Rs 50,000 crore, the Centre’s contribution would be Rs 25,000 crore.
The Centre, he said, had started the Rs one lakh crore JNNURM scheme of which 50 per cent was paid by it.
Mr. Roy said his ministry was looking for foreign funds to meet the resource gap and was negotiating for a $ 5 billion loan from the World Bank to develop Indian cities, though it was yet to be finalised.
He said of the $5 billion, $3.5 billion would be for infrastructure development and $1.5 billion for development of urban transport.
The scheme now covered 65 mission cities along with their adjacent towns. “These schemes aim at improving urban infrastructure and governance through better water supply, sewerage, solid waste management etc,” he said.
Replying to a question, Mr. Roy said that some states have made significant progress notably Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, while some like West Bengal and Delhi have fallen behind in terms of implementation of JNNURM projects.
Mr. Roy said that in West Bengal, out of a total allocation of Rs 3,200 crore, schemes amounting to only Rs 1,400 crore have been approved so far.
“Delhi is lagging in terms of both urban sector reforms and having approved schemes for implementation.”
To a question, he said, it was expected that the urban population would increase by 40 per cent by 2020.
“It is necessary for us to prepare cities for coping with the challenge of tackling the influx of people.”
He said that Left Front government in West Bengal would have to fulfil 23 conditions to get assistance under JNNURM. .
“They have fulfilled some conditions and the remaining by 2011.”
He said that an important project being executed under the Urban Development ministry in West Bengal was the East-West Metro project in Kolkata.
When asked that Railway minister Mamata Banerjee wanted the project to be handed over to her ministry, he said “I do not want to comment.”
He said his priority was to monitor and ensure speedy purchase of low floor buses for Kolkata. Polluting 15-year-old buses had been phased out from the metropolis.
He said the Urban Development ministry recently financed the purchase of 1,200 such buses for the city and 100 for Asansol in Burdwan district.