Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the first phase of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Jaipur city bus service under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission here on Saturday.
The BRTS and city bus service are expected to ease the pressure of traffic on the city roads and provide relief to commuters.
These initiatives will be followed by the ambitious Jaipur Metro Rail Project, for which preliminary conceptual work has begun.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Gehlot laid emphasis on launching “joint efforts” by the Union and State governments for strengthening the financial condition of urban local bodies. “Local bodies have very limited avenues for generating funds as of now,” he said.
The Chief Minister said though the local bodies were expected to take up a number of works such as cleanliness, repairing of roads, sewerage works and supply of clean drinking water, they were always confronting paucity of funds. Mr. Gehlot said the Centre's support for this important segment of urban governance was the “need of the hour”. He also called for Central assistance for the Jaipur Metro Rail Project, for which a memorandum of understanding is to be signed shortly.
Mr. Gehlot said cities with a population of 5 lakh and more in the State should be included in the JNNURM for their speedy development.
Mr. Reddy in his address said the JNNURM would serve the needs of urban areas for the next 30 to 40 years, while the BRTS had been initiated in nine cities across the country.
It would be “immensely useful” for the historic city of Jaipur, he added.
The Union Minister said the Centre would provide a grant of Rs.2,000 crore to the State Government for the Jaipur Metro, on which a total expenditure of Rs.8,000 crore to Rs.12,000 crore has been estimated. .