EVEN AS the City grapples with the likelihood of a hike in water taxes a new surcharge looms on the horizon: sewerage/drainage tax. The IMC administration has pledged to levy a monthly tax on residents to bankroll its 30 per cent share in the first phase of the Rs 307 crore sewerage master plan.
The project was okayed by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) technical clearance committee at a meeting headed by the Union Urban Administration Development Department Secretary in New Delhi on Saturday.
Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma, Additional Commissioner Kumar Purshottam and Narmada Project Superintending Engineer S Tulsi were among those who attended the meet.
The master plan calls for a complete overhaul of the drainage and sewerage infrastructure to prevent wastewater from being released into the Khan river. This is to be done by laying primary and secondary networks, building of storm water drains and upgrade of the 90 mld sewage treatment plant at Kabitkhedi.
In an agreement inked after the meet the Corporation promised to levy additional taxes on residents to raise its Rs 88 crore share in the project. The drainage tax is likely to be implemented in 2010, a year after the water tax hike is slated to come into effect.
It may be noted that Mission bosses had rejected the original master plan amounting to Rs 325 crore proposal on grounds that it contained trimmings that were not germane for the project. Civic body bosses then removed a portion of the secondary drainage network paring project costs By Rs 18 crore after which the proposal finally found favour with JNNURM.
Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma confirmed the drainage tax proposal declaring it essential for repaying loans that the Corporation would have to procure to fund its share in the project.
IMC sitting on funding proposal
TALK OF an embarrassment of riches. For over 48 hours the Corporation has been sitting on a HUDCO offer to provide Rs 50 crore for funding phase two of the Bond Road project.
IMC sources revealed that although the fiscal institution gave the all-clear on Friday the Corporation didn’t want to commit itself as long as there was a chance that the project might be okayed under JNNURM.
“If the Mission gives the green signal the Corporation will require only Rs 15 crore thereby obviating the need for a loan,” said a senior official. JNNURM, it may be noted is a grant-in-aid project under which the Centre and state governments provide 50 and 20 per cent respectively for urban developmental tasks with the concerned civic body shelling out the rest.