The World Bank has severely castigated Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s handling of infrastructure projects in the city, asking the regional planning body to improve its professional management capabilities of projects.
MMRDA’s management of the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road has come under the scanner with the deadline for completion being extended time and again. Projects have also been stalled due to non-clearance by the railway authorities.
The MMRDA is undertaking infrastructure projects worth Rs 5,127 crore under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP).
The World Bank has sanctioned a loan of Rs 2,313 crore to MMRDA, which has received 45 per cent of the loan amount, while Rs 1,269 crore is still to come.
MMRDA had committed to complete most projects by December 31, 2009, but has now asked for an extension on the closure of the loan till December 2011.
“In past, plans for completion of projects have been made and then remade. This time it is important for MMRDA to submit its action plan for completion so that we can be have a look at it and be convinced,” World Bank’s Task Team Leader (MUTP) Hubert Josserand said.
The World Bank undertakes biannual meetings to evaluate performance of the projects.
The World Bank has also listed several criteria, which the MMRDA should fulfill by April before further extension is granted.
“We have asked MMRDA to reinforce the professional management of its projects. We also want MMRDA to sign an MoU with the Indian Railways for faster implementation of projects,” Josserand said.
MMRDA officials said that most of the parameters laid down by the World Bank will be met. “We will address all these issues,” additional Metropolitan Commissioner S V R Srinivas said.
The World Bank has also asked MMRDA to formally complete and handover all rehabilitation colonies to the municipal corporation and to expedite clearances of complaints sent to the grievance redressal cell.
The World Bank Team will again visit in April to evaluate if all its directives have been implemented. A recommendation on extending the loan will then be taken.
A refusal by the World Bank to extend the loan term could severely affect MMRDA’s development plans.