Focus on big-ticket projects, but agencies will have to pay | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Focus on big-ticket projects, but agencies will have to pay

Infrastructure may have been the recurrent theme in the state’s budget on Tuesday, but the government has asked the state agencies to fend for themselves when it comes to finances for carrying out the projects.

mumbai Updated: Mar 27, 2012 01:33 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

Infrastructure may have been the recurrent theme in the state’s budget on Tuesday, but the government has asked the state agencies to fend for themselves when it comes to finances for carrying out the projects.

The state government set aside Rs710 crore for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which will help your train ride become a little comfortable. However, the money will come from the coffers of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the Indian Railways.

Finance minister Ajit Pawar spoke about improving road connectivity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). He announced that Rs1,488 crore would be spent on building 11 roads, seven flyovers and three creek bridges. However, the entire cost would have to be borne by the MMRDA. The agency will spend Rs350 crore in the next fiscal.

The only commitment that the state made was for the West Coast Water Transport project where the government, City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) and MMRDA will undertake the Rs750-crore cost jointly.

“There is actually no provision for any of the agencies undertaking development work. Rather than giving money the state is taking money, which is not good for future development in the city,” said a senior state government official.

Agencies such as the MMRDA and the Cidco have limited cash reserve — between Rs10,000 and Rs 12,000 crore. However, the government has planned infrastructure projects of over Rs2 lakh crore in Mumbai alone and expects the agencies to bear the cost.

The state has also made an outlay of Rs2,899 crore for road development in 2012-13 through which development of nearly 7,810km of roads will take place. However, the provisioning for agencies such as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, which is undertaking projects valued at over Rs10,000 crore, is just Rs150 crore.

Pawar also spoke about road projects of over Rs10,000 crore that will be undertaken on public-private partnership basis. The state's contribution will be Rs100 crore.