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ADB projects in Karnataka draw flak

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Bangalore, Feb 24 (UNI) External funds received from the Asian Development Bank for improving urban infrastructure in Karnataka have proved to be 'white elephants' to the urban self Governments, already facing serious financial crunch due to improper implementation of projects.

At a consultation on 'ADB Policies and Projects in Karnataka', organised by the Urban Research Centre here, Mr Gururaja Budhya of URC said the very purpose of the operation and maintenance of infrastructure facilities as well as delivery of urban services was defeated due to various reasons.

Referring to the ADB-funded Mangalore project, he said the project was initially proposed to begin in 2001, but got delayed by two years. The progress of work such as water supply, under ground drainage, storm water drains and slum improvement were slow and the quality of work was bad. Improper work on storm water drains led to water stagnation and stink and sewage treatment was not operational.

In some cases, underground drainage was laid, but not the treatment plant.

Dr Sudhir Vombatkere of URC from Mysore, in his presentation, alleged that the Solid Waste Management plant, built at a cost of over Rs eight crore for Mysore, was not put to use due to design fault. Grants not released for the operation and maintenance of the plant had resulted in the plant becoming defunct.

Ms Vidya Dinkar of the NGO task force on ADB from URC, who also spoke, said that in Puttur town in South Kanara district, where ADB loan was taken for a drinking water project, the project was yet to be completed. Laying of pipes for drinking water supply had caused multiple problems for the citizens as the pipes were not laid along the old lines, thus damaging the roads and rendering it non-motorable.

UNI MV GD GM1819

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