Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Roudra Bhattacharya

New Delhi, July 19 Four states, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tripura and Meghalaya and the Union Territory of Puducherry have not utilised any of the funds provided under the Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) scheme of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) since 2005. This was stated in a table on the allocation and utilisation of funds under the JNNURM, presented in the Rajya Sabha by Mr Saugata Roy, Minister of State, Ministry of Urban Development on July 9.

The UIG scheme is a sub-mission of the JNNURM with its main thrust on infrastructure projects relating to water supply and sanitation, sewerage, solid waste management, road network. It also deals with the upgradation of urban transport and the redevelopment of old city areas with a view to upgrading infrastructure. It is administered by the Ministry of Urban Development through the Sub-Mission Directorate for Urban Infrastructure and Governance.

Bihar and Jharkhand were provided much higher amounts at Rs 100.43 crore and Rs 125.67 crore, respectively. The amount dispersed to the two North-eastern states, Tripura and Meghalaya, is much lower at Rs 17.6 crore and Rs 49 crore, respectively. Puducherry got a little more with Rs 60.7 crore, but still utilised none. The total sanitation was provided as a combination of Centre, State and Urban Local Body funds.

According to a Central Government official, the reason for non-utilisation of the funds could be many. While some projects could have been sanctioned late so as to not yet incur expenses, others may be waiting for the many statutory clearances from local bodies, such as the water or electricity boards, explained the official.

“When a project is sanctioned, the funds are released by the Government, then the preparatory work by the State starts, which sometimes takes time,” added the official. The official, however, was at a loss in explaining why only these four states out of all the others failed to utilise the funds in the last four years.

According to the data submitted in Parliament, Maharashtra had the highest utilisation at Rs 3,159.42 crore, after being dispersed Rs 4,049.81. Gujarat followed with an utilisation of Rs 1,567.57 crore, after being dispersed Rs 2,432.46 crore as funds.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 20, 2009)
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