THOUGH THE Bhopal Municipal Corporation and the state Urban Administration and Development Department (UADD) have got development projects last year, their implementation faces problems.
The BMC lacks a technically competent officer available to handle Rs 2153-crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) projects (of which the corporation has got approval of Rs 403 crore). Till recently JNNURM projects were being supervised by an officer of the rank of an executive engineer (EE). But he was pulled back by the state government along with other officers on deputation to the BMC. On the other hand, in other departments superintendent engineers (SEs) and chief engineers (CEs) handle smaller projects.
Recently, the BMC has demanded that the government depute technically competent officers for the projects. Mayor Sunil Sood told Hindustan Times that the BMC has demanded a chief engineer rank officer, two SEs, six EEs and 21 additional assistant engineers.
However, UADD secretary Sewa Ram told Hindustan Times that till now there has been no demand or complaint about the officials handling the JNNURM projects and the EE, who was posted on deputation, seemed to be handling the projects well. He said the projects would be assessed from time to time and if the need for senior officer arises, the government would consider it.
The UADD has placed junior officers in senior-level posts at the BMC which has been dependent for officers on deputation from various departments for handling development work. For example, an EE was posted as a city engineer – a post equivalent to a SE in other departments, deputy collector rank officers were posted as an additional commissioner (equivalent to an additional collector) and so on.
For the Asian Development Bank (ADB) project worth only Rs 169 crore (no funds have been received under this project), a project implementation unit (PIU) at the BMC under a SE and a project management unit (PMU) at the directorate level of the UADD under the principal secretary, have been set up.
Similarly, a committee headed by the Chief Secretary has been set up to complete tender formalities of the Rs 248 crore Narmada water project. But the biggest project of them all – the JNNURM — is not getting the required attention..