Minister seeks hike in dwelling unit cost under RAY

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Jul 03, 2014 20:15 IST

Aiming to meet the excessive construction cost, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma urged union government to enhance per unit dwelling cost under Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.

While speaking at the conclave of ministers in New Delhi on Thursday, Sharma said that due to hilly topography and difficult terrain, construction cost in the state is much higher than that of the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

“As the construction cost is higher in the state, increase in amount under Rajiv Awas Yojana will benefit the eligible persons in the state,” said he.

He also urged the Centre to grant two additional years for completion of various developmental projects in the state. Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu presided over the conclave.

Sharma further said that there were several developmental projects stalled due to non-availability of the forest clearance and he also urged Centre to provide clearances under the Act at the earliest.

Relaxation may be given to the state under the Act keeping in view its tough hilly terrain, he maintained.

He also requested the Union government to provide funds to Himachal on 90:10 pattern on the analogy of North-Eastern states, since the union government had reduced this funding pattern to 80:20.

Further he said that standard technology for alternative mode of transport and solid waste management should be identified at the centre level so that these projects may be completed in stipulated time.

Sharma said that at present most crucial areas of urban management such as public convenience, parking and municipal parks are not being covered under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). “Union government should include these areas for funding under next phase of JNNURM, keeping in view the importance of these sectors under Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a hilly state,” said Sharma.

'State should be free to ink pact with any country'

After having failed to sign the memorandum of understanding with the Dutch government last month in absence of necessary permission from the Centre, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma urged the Centre to provide the liberty to the states to enter into memorandum of agreement at their own level within the ambit of memorandum of agreement of central government. “Bilateral cooperation between the central government and other countries should be extended to various states,” added he.

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