Mumbai, Apr 17 (UNI) Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy today said Rs 50,000 crore will be raised under the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to be spent over the next six years.
During a luncheon meeting hosted by Petroleum Minister Murli Deora at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) here, Mr Reddy told mediapersons that Mumbai would get premier attention while disbursment of funds under the project. ''Urbanisation is not a curse, but a wave that is inevitable and desirable,'' he said.
''We should prepare ourselves for the future wave. As of now, 42 per cent people live in urban areas in Maharashtra and by 2020, 50 per cent of the country's population will live in urban areas,'' he added.
Mumbai's infrastructural deformities need to be attended and even though urban development is a State subject, the Centre will do its best to ensure maximum possible funds for Maharashtra, and Mumbai in particular, the Minister assured.
''Money could not be sanctioned in the last financial year for technical reasons. The JNNURM was sanctioned in December and there were only three months. We could not take up projects worth more than Rs 100 crore,'' he added.
Mr Reddy said the proposals for storm water drainage, middle 'vaitarna' project for drinking water and sewage disposal project stage-II for Mumbai were all big and significant projects which were ''class neutral'' and will be sanctioned by the end of this year.
The Centre's urban infrastructure plan attempts to address urban governance and infrastructure, alleviation of urban poverty and issues of uplift, he said and added that the aim is to motivate urban local bodies and State governments to make matching effforts in the Centre's plans to address various issues of urbanisation by way of taxes, loans and bonds.
He said in the last three months, five schemes in Nagpur worth Rs 180 crore were sanctioned under the JNNURM plan. ''Mumbai will get more than what is due,'' he assured.
Mr Reddy also asked the State Government to expedite the process of evaluation of bids received for the Versova-Ghatkopar corridor of metro rail project. The Centre will provide 20 per cent assistance by way of viability gap funding to the metro rail project, which will have nine corridors.
He said repeal of Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act was a must for Maharashtra and the Centre was in talks with the State government in this regard.
UNI MR GK RL HT1708