Staff Reporter

To implement projects of the JNNRUM

KOCHI: The Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Programme (KSUDP), the nodal agency for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), will mobilise funds for Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram Corporations.

The agency will liaison with the Central authorities as well as other funding agencies for the two cities, which have been selected to receive funds from the JNNURM, said T.K. Jose, Secretary, Local Administration Department.

Briefing the Corporation councillors and the officials who are involved in the implementation of projects of the JNNRUM, Mr. Jose said the KSUDP would receive funds for the implementation of the programme. The State Government had earlier decided that the KSUDP would act as the nodal agency for the JNNRUM project.

The Corporations could include all the infrastructure projects planned for the cities for receiving financial assistance. However, support would not be available for the acquisition of land, he said.

While the State lost nearly three months in completing the groundwork for obtaining assistance due to the Assembly elections, cities like Vijayawada and Hyderabad received the first instalment of financial assistance from the Mission. Vijayawada received Rs.1,200 crores while Hyderabad secured Rs.3,000 crores as first instalment. The Mission authorities have accepted the projects worth Rs.7,300 crores submitted by Vijayawada, Mr. Jose informed the councillors.

Replying to a question, Mr. Jose suggested that the agencies like Cochin Port Trust, Goshree Islands Development Authority, Cochin Special Economic Zone and Kochi Corporation could form a consortium for operating a separate water supply scheme. The Corporation should think of a separate water supply scheme for the city only if it is willing to put in place a different establishment other than that of the Kerala Water Authority for drinking water scheme, he suggested.

As the assistance from the Mission is for increasing the efficiency in urban infrastructure and service delivery mechanism in city areas and civic bodies in its periphery, the Kochi Corporation can select the civic bodies that are to be made part of the programme. The city can make use of the locally available expertise in preparing the City Development Plan and the expense for preparing the Plan will be reimbursed. At the same time, the city may have to seek the support of external agencies for the preparation project reports.

Mercy Williams, Kochi Mayor, chaired the session. A. Jayathilak, project director of the KSUDP, also clarified the doubts of the councillors.