Jitter on Narmada as MP prepares wish-list | india | Hindustan Times
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Jitter on Narmada as MP prepares wish-list

LAST YEAR when the then chief minister Babulal Gaur returned from New Delhi with substantial hike in the annual plan outlay for the State, he would not tire praising Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia. He had a reason, if not reasons.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 12:12 IST

LAST YEAR when the then chief minister Babulal Gaur returned from New Delhi with substantial hike in the annual plan outlay for the State, he would not tire praising Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia. He had a reason, if not reasons.

Gaur had sought Rs 100 crore special package for his pat Narmada water supply project for Bhopal and the plan panel agreed to give Rs 60 crore. First installment of Rs 20 crore was immediately released. But barely Rs four crore has been spent so far.

Now Gaur's successor Shivraj Singh Chouhan is preparing to meet Dr Ahluwalia with bigger wish list and the bureaucracy is jittery. “What if the plan panel mandarins quiz us about utilisation of the special package on Narmada?” an official wondered.

Gaur, who earned the sobriquet as Bhopal's CM during his 15 months stint, had passionately pleaded for special package, saying project is essential for fast growing population of Bhopal.

The State Government had committed to the Planning Commission that the Narmada project would be completed in three years. But the fact is that neither the State Government has prepared a detailed project report nor invited tenders in the last one year.

Even the process of land acquisition and forest clearance has not been completed yet.Secretary, Public Health Engineering, Rakesh Agrawal admitted that the work on the project got delayed to some extent because of intricacies of the scheme. “As the State Government is all set to get necessary clearances, the work of land acquisition along with inviting tenders would commence soon,” he told Hindustan Times.

Moreover, the State Government is likely to face difficulties in getting remaining installments of the project as it hasn't yet sent the 'utilisation certificate' to Government of India.

It is learnt that the Chief Secretary is likely to write letters to the Government of India for releasing the remaining installments of the Narmada water scheme.

In his communication, he is expected to mention the reasons for delay in the work. He will also apprise the Centre about progress of other works undertaken in the State.