ASIAN DEVELOPMENT Bank (ADB) State project director Hari Ranjan Rao is reported to have expressed displeasure over the slow progress of work funded by the bank at a meeting held at Bhopal Municipal Corporation Project Implementation Unit office at Mata Mandir on Monday.
About a week ago, Minister for Urban Administration Jayant Mallaiya had also pulled up BMC authorities in this regard and had issued a directive to speed up the process of getting approval of ADB-funded schemes. So far, BMC has failed to get the approval for even a single of the proposed 26 packages from the ADB. The process of getting the ADB loan was started about three years ago.
Rao reportedly told the BMC said that it was slowest in the State as far as getting approval of ADB projects was concerned. He directed the officials to complete the approval work by December-end. It is learnt that the BMC officials, however, pleaded the shortage of engineers. Surprisingly, the BMC administration itself had earlier removed a senior PHE engineer from the ADB Project Implementation Unit.
The BMC has proposed 26 ADB-funded packages worth Rs 179 crore. Of this, Rs 154 crore would be spent on water supply, sanitation and solid waste management. Rs 14 crore would be spent on public participation and Rs 11 crore on project implementation. The ADB would provide 66 per cent amount as loan. The BMC and State Government’s share would be 17.2 and 16.6 per cent, respectively.
BMC officials said that the detailed project report had been prepared for 15 out of the 26 proposed packages. It is learnt that Rao also pointed out that the BMC had not fulfilled the essential conditions for getting ADB loan, including the rationalisation of taxes. This included the increase in water tax, which is also a pre-condition for getting funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The BMC Council has twice returned the proposal of water tariff increase.
BMC Commissioner Manish Singh and other BMC officials were also present on the occasion.