Special Correspondent

Rs. 50,000 cr. for urban infrastructure development

HYDERABAD: Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Tuesday that the Centre would mobilise a whopping Rs. 50,000 crores for urban infrastructure development in the country in the next six years.

The State Governments and urban local bodies should come out with equal matching grants to give a massive fillip to urban infrastructure, which was crumbling under the weight of growing population and massive influx of people into the cities, he speaking at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Hyderabad Outer Ring Road project's first phase at Shamshabad near here today.

Hyderabad, he said, would receive liberal assistance from his the Centre as its future held great promise. "But all assistance will be linked to reforms and efforts should be made towards progressive reduction of stamp duty, rationalisation of tenancy laws and repeal of the Urban Land Ceiling Act," he informed.

Manmohan thanked

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for making the highest plan allocation in the country for Andhra Pradesh -- Rs. 15,650 crores. "This is much higher than the what is given to bigger States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and to industrially developed Maharashtra," he pointed out.

Governor, Sushilkumar Shinde wanted planners to prepare a blueprint for development of the State with the focus on the next 50 years.