FOR THE Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), meeting deadlines of schemes under the Centre-funded Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) seems an uphill task. Work has considerably slowed down due to technical staff shortage.
Fears are also being expressed that second installment against the sanctioned schemes may get delayed as the first installment has not been spent yet. Only two engineers are looking after projects worth Rs 650 crore for the last one month, affecting work progress.
The seriousness of the state government to carry out development at fast pace appears doubtful in view of delay in appointment of officials for special projects, being implemented by municipal corporations under the JNNURM.
“Work has been severely affected under the JNNURM schemes during the past one month. I have repeatedly requested State Government officers to appoint engineers for the schemes under the JNNURM,” Mayor Sunil Sood said. The BMC asked for over 150 officials for the schemes from the State Government.
Minister for Urban Administration and Development Jayant Malaiya, however, said that the State Government has been making arrangements for providing sufficient staff to implement these schemes. Malaiya told the Hindustan Times that he has convened a meeting of all the municipal corporations on February 9 in Jabalpur. Municipal corporations, he said, are told to submit their requisition of employees and officials for the ADB and the JNNURM at the meeting.
About a month back, the State Government had transferred engineers from the corporation’s JNNURM cell in keeping with the High Court directives to transfer officials on deputation. Now, only an assistant engineer and a sub engineer look after projects worth Rs 650 crore for the past one month.
The schemes included Rs 342 crore projects for basic services for urban poor. Houses for urban poor are being constructed under the projects. Tender process for some schemes has not moved an inch due to staff shortage. Similarly, work on already started housing project worth Rs 72 crore, is on hold.
The contractors also stopped further work due to non-payment of bills. The supervision of ongoing works could not be carried out due to staff shortage.
Similarly, work worth Rs 14 crore for water supply in gas-affected areas, Rs 30 crore for the channelisation of nullah, Rs 18 crore for development of MP Nagar and Rs 8 crore for development of categorised market could not begin. Some of these schemes
were sanctioned at least six months back. Appointment of a consultant for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) could not be completed.
Though the BMC forwarded proposals to the State Government, apprehensions are also being expressed that the disbursement of second installment may get stopped due to tardy work progress. Besides, the approval of other schemes under the JNNURM would also be affected. The BMC has planned to implement Rs 2,153 crore schemes under the JNNURM.