Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The third regional workshop on the recently launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was held here on Monday. Senior officials of the Union Ministry of Urban Development, Secretaries, mayors and municipal commissioners from six northern States - Rajasthan, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab-- and the Union Territory, Chandigarh attended the one-day workshop.

JNNURM, with a total outlay of Rs.50, 000 crores, will cover about 63 cities over a period of seven years starting from 2005-06. Three cities in Rajasthan- Jaipur, Ajmer and Pushkar- have been selected in the Mission. JNNURM has two sub Missions- Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT); and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP).

Chairing the opening session, O.P.Agarwal, Officer on Special Duty, Ministry of Road Transport and Shipping, termed JNNURM as an ambitious project to improve the infrastructure and quality of life in the "long neglected " cities. The Mission stated to ensure reforms driven, fast track and planned development of identified cities with focus on efficiency in urban services delivery mechanism, community participation and accountability of urban local bodies towards citizens, he said.

The four pre-conditions for getting grants under the Mission were; the constitution of State Level Steering Committee (SLSC), identification of state level nodal agency (SLNA), urban reform action plan and preparation of city development plans, Mr. Agarwal said. The sectors eligible for JNNURM in the chosen cities would be urban renewal, water supply and sewerage, solid waste management, transportation, environment and tourism and conservation of water bodies.

Lalit K.Pawar, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Rajasthan, addressing the workshop said his department had taken various initiatives under the Mission and SLSC would be constituted shortly.