Today's Paper

Centre puts the brakes on JNNURM research projects, capacity-building

The Urban Development Ministry has asked 36 States to terminate their research and capacity-building measures under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), a move that will roll back the achievements of the scheme launched by the UPA government and render it defunct.

Under the JNNURM, the State governments established Reform and Performance Management Cells (RPMCs), a body of experts to guide municipal bodies in urban planning.

The first outcome of the decision will be closing of RPMCs, though the Central government has invested Rs. 43 crore in them.

And then the States will have to fire several hundred employees — researchers, municipal engineers, sanitary workers and computer operators — and abandon a big line of research projects.

In a circular released on August 14, the Ministry’s message was blunt that “no structures of earlier missions will be supported.” It also directed the States to wrap up “individual” training programmes. In the early 2013, the Congress-led government realised that it could implement an ambitious scheme like the JNNRUM only if the municipal bodies were efficient.