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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Lack of funding, functionaries could derail SHREE, say experts

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Jaipur, February 20, 2014
First Published: 15:13 IST(20/2/2014) | Last Updated: 15:31 IST(20/2/2014)

The new SHREE scheme (Sanitation, Health, Rural connectivity, Education and Electrification) for planned development of towns and cities has raised concerns about proper implementation.

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Urbanisation experts say such a project was also undertaken by the earlier Congress government but implementation was held up due to lack of manpower and funds.

The SHREE scheme will be taken up in Bharatpur division from April 1 and will later cover the entire state. Under the scheme, basic facilities like sanitation, toilets, equipment in hospitals, infrastructure drainage, road construction, water for drinking and other uses, solar street lighting will be provided in villages with over 5000 population, state health minister Rajendra Rathore had told a press conference after the cabinet meeting.

The earlier Congress government too had announced a scheme to make plans for villages with over 5,000 population for planned development. While the plans were made, the implementation is yet to be done.

A senior bureaucrat said that around 250-300 villages will be covered under the SHREE scheme.

"There is an issue of who will own the scheme. The rural development and town planning departments do not have adequate capacity or manpower."

He said the work of making the plans should be outsourced to consultants while the funding would have to be given by the rural development department.

Another concern was the implementation, he said. The panchayat will have to give authority to check land use and to curb violations.

Chairman of the urbanization commission KK Bhatnagar said instead of planning from the top, plans developed from the grassroots should be developed and supported. Not only cities and towns but even villages have the potential to develop and such efforts should be supported," he said.

Jaimin Oberoi, executive council member of the CII, said that while the scheme is a good initiative, its implementation should be given to the NGOs or panchayats. He too seconded the idea of empowering panchayats. "The MLAs should be asked to give funds for this scheme and a watchdog should monitor the use of funds," he said.


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