Chavan seeks special funding from plan panel | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Chavan seeks special funding from plan panel

The state government on Monday argued for a special funding line for mega cities such as Mumbai to ensure timely completion of its infrastructure projects before the Planning Commission.

mumbai Updated: Jun 28, 2011 02:09 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

The state government on Monday argued for a special funding line for mega cities such as Mumbai to ensure timely completion of its infrastructure projects before the Planning Commission.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who made a presentation of the state government outlining Maharashtra’s future goals and priorities before the Planning Commission delegation led by its deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, made a case for additional funding from the Centre for the maximum city and its metropolitan region.

However, even as the state requested for additional finances, the delegation led by Ahluwalia observed that the state was not close to meeting any of its millennium goals such as reducing infant mortality rate, improving human development index and bettering sex ratio.

Experts said that while Maharashtra has scored on shoring up foreign investment and ensuring higher growth rate despite the global slowdown, it had not managed to reduce the regional imbalances.

The Ahluwalia-led Planning Commission delegation is in the city for two days to hold regional consultation with the state governments of the western region — Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa — on the 12th Five Year Plan. The 12th Five Year Plan will start from April 1, 2012, and this regional consultation will help in finalising the final document that will lay down the path for development in the coming five years, from 2012 to 2017. “We are looking at consultations with the civil society, elected representatives and not just officials for preparing the 12th Five Year Plan,” said Ahluwalia. He added that the aim was to achieve growth rate of 9% and focus areas were power, water, urbanisation and sustainable development.

State government officials believe that Mumbai needs funds on the lines of Delhi if it has to cope with current rate of urbanisation. “Funding for Mumbai cannot come under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission as it will now apply to all cities. The problems facing mega cities is completely different,’’ said a senior official present at the meeting.

Presenting future priorities for the city, municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar said that the city would need to invest in infrastructure projects such as a coastal ring road and ducting to carry utility cables under pavements to avoid constant digging on city roads.

Addressing the commisison’s concerns, Chavan suggested that it would take up ‘silent observer’ device used in Kolhapur to keep a check on illegal medical procedures in ultrasound scanning centres.